Clayey soil

A clayey soil, though distinguished by the color which it bears, namely black, white, yellow and red, differs from all other soils, being tough, wet, and cold, and consequently requiring a good deal of labor from the husbandman before it can be sufficiently pulverized, or placed in a state for bearing artificial crops of corn or grass. Clay land is known by the following qualities, or properties.

It holds water like a cup, and once wetted does not soon dry. In like manner, when thoroughly dry, it is not soon wetted; if we except the varieties which have a thin surface, and are the worst of all to manage. In a dry summer, clay cracks and shows a surface full of small chinks, or openings. If ploughed in a wet state, it sticks to the plough like mortar, and in a dry summer, the plough turns it up in great clods, scarcely to be broken or separated by the heaviest roller.

Return to The Household Cyclopedia of General Information