Is Your Soil Ready?

Consequences of planting when soils are too wet

Here is an easy test to help determine if soil is ready for planting.

With a trowel, dig 4 inches down into a seedbed. Grab a handful of soil from the trowel and squeeze it. If it is tacky, if you can make a ball that sticks together or if you can form a ribbon when squeezed between thumb and forefinger, the soil is too wet for spring tillage. Soils are ready for seedbed prep if they crumble between your fingers.

Soils in ideal condition have the optimal balance of soil, air, and water present. Combined these factors allow for tillage to begin while minimizing compaction.

Consequences of planting when soils are too wet are shown in the graphic on the right.