Get the "dirt" on soil! What is soil and how does it help plants grow? Take a close look at some dirt and try out our projects to find out just how amazing soil really is!
Adding water and shaking your jar mixed the soil inside the jar, but over time, the soil began to settle into layers. The most dense pieces in the jar fell to the bottom, with some smaller particles of soil between them. Above that you probably noticed most of the soil you dug from your yard. Do you see any changes in the colors of that layer of soil? Can you see dark or light streaks? Those are layers of minerals, clay, and sand. If there was some organic material in your soil that had not been decomposed yet, it’s probably floating on the top of the water. If you were able to drain all of the water out through the bottom of the jar, this is similar to how the horizons of soil on the earth look. Rocks and the most dense soil particles (like clay) are near the bottom with the darker, richer soil near the top, and organic matter (like dead leaves and bugs) at the very top.