Fresno State Logo                  Welcome to Wateright

  Estimating Soil Texture
If you haven't a clue as to what type of soil you have, there is a simple hand testing method.
  • Take a small hand full of soil
  • Make sure the soil is reasonably moist
  • Form a small spherical mass just with one hand
  • Work the soil by pushing part of that sphere between your thumb and forefinger.
  • This process should form a ribbon . The ribbon should be long enough to measure with a small ruler.
Various soil textures are simplified into the following categories based on the length of the ribbon .
Soil Texture Ribbon length - inches Ribbon length - mm
Sand 0 - 1/2 0-15
Sandy loam 1/2 - 1.0 15-25
Loam 1.0 25
Clay loam 1.0 - 1.5 25-40
Clay 2.0 + 50+