How To Do A Garden Perk Test For My Asparagus Roots. Where To Get A Perk Test Near Me?
If water drains (percolates) away from Asparagus plant roots or other plant roots too quickly, the plants will parch even if they’re getting regular water. And if water doesn’t drain, many plants will drown and rot from the roots up. A percolation test – or perk test – is a great way to measure drainage in your or garden soil.
12” in diameter by 12” deep, with straight sides. If you’re testing your entire property, dig several holes scattered around your yard, since drainage can vary.
Fill with Water.Fill the hole with water, and let it sit overnight. This saturates the soil and helps give a more accurate test reading.
The next day, refill the hole with water.
Measure the water level by laying a stick, pipe, or other straight edge across the top of the hole, then use a tape measure or yardstick to determine the water level.
Continue to measure the water level every hour until the hole is empty, noting the number of inches the water level drops per hour.
The ideal soil drainage is around 2” per hour, with readings between 1”- 3” generally OK for garden plants that have average drainage needs. If the rate is less than 1” per hour, your drainage is too slow, and you’ll need to improve drainage or choose plants tolerant of wet soil. If drainage is more than 4” per hour, it’s too fast. Drainage problems can be addressed by:
Incorporate plenty of compost and organic matter into the soil. Organic matter helps heavy clay soil to drain and helps coarse sandy soil to hold moisture, so it’s a win-win no matter what your soil type!
Choose plants suited to your soil drainage.
Build raised beds for better control over the soil texture.