Field vs. Garden Soil

The sample on the left (F) was collected from a grain field, and the one on the right (G) was collected from a home garden.  Both sites are in the same area, within 1km of each other. The samples were prepared the same way, then left undisturbed for about a week.

I don’t know anything about the field soil in terms of how it’s maintained, soil type, etc. I know the soil is heavy and sticky, with a lot of clay. It has a kind of anaerobic, ammonia-like smell to it.

The garden has been maintained organically for many years, and from past analysis I know that this soil is rich in organic matter and microscopic life. The owner of the garden treats her soil with good compost every year and consistently brings in a nice harvest. There is also a good community of macro life in the soil, such as insects and worms.

The question is.. Why is the field sample so murky while the garden sample settled crystal clear? What does this mean about the soil, it’s physical structure, and most importantly its ability to support plants?

I know the garden soil is good, so does that mean this murkiness or clarity could tell us something?

I’ll research into this a bit more and see if I can learn anything.

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3 thoughts on “Field vs. Garden Soil

  1. It’s possible. Maybe the field was treated with some kind of manure that hasn’t broken down yet. The murkiness could be caused by a difference in organic matter. I’ll be analyzing these soils again tomorrow, so I’ll post a couple of pictures from the microscope to compare them side by side. Thanks for reading! 🙂

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