University of Iowa

Soil Analysis of Potential Urban Agriculture Areas within City Limits

Academic Year 
2014-2015
Project Partners 
Project Topics

Students in the Earth and Environmental Sciences program evaluated soils at the Chadek property, which was a vacant city lot located in the Morningside neighborhood of Iowa City, south of City High and a few blocks west of 1st Ave. In order to assess the Chadek property, various field and lab methods were used to garner information about the property’s soils. These included visually assessing the terrain and comparing it to historical maps, taking soil core samples and bulk density samples, and excavating and describing soil profiles. The lab methods used included measurements and tests for bulk density, electrical conductivity, pH, humus, potassium, nitrate, and magnesium. There was also a limited site investigation done at the site by an outside source under contract with the City. The soil tests were completed to assess the site’s suitability for a community garden. Following their tests, students recommended the best location on the site for the community garden.