An important component of any habitat restoration plan is the soil type. Knowing what types of soil are present on the property will help you decide which plants will do best in each location. When it comes to healthy plants, having the right soil conditions is about as important as siting the plant correctly for optimal sunlight (shade or full sun?) and water (dry or moist?).
Fortunately, the USDA’s Web Soil Survey exists to impart data already collected by the USDA to members of the public. It’s as easy as going to the website and entering your address (plus a couple extra steps). Let’s walk through it together:
How to Get Your USDA Soil Report
- Navigate to https://websoilsurvey.sc.egov.usda.gov/App/HomePage.htm
- In the drop-down Address field on the left, enter your address.
- Use the AOI button in the “Area of Interest (AOI)” tab to select the area for which you would like the soil information.
- Once you’ve selected your Area of Interest, click the yellow Soil Map tab. Click “Printable version” in the upper-right corner to save or print this map.
- Now, click the “Soil data Explorer” tab, then click the “Soil Reports” tab in the ribbon below. On the left-hand menu, click the drop-down arrows for “AOI Inventory”, then “Component Text Descriptions”. Then click “View Soil Report”. A description of each of your soil components will appear below the map.