What’s YOUR state soil?

State soil? No, it’s the official soil of my garden. An exquisite and tasty mix of topsoil, compost, manure, peat moss with notes of potting soil, small rocks, and the occasional chunk of lost plastic plant markers.

Inspired by Linda at Each Little World’s blog post on Wisconsin’s state soil (Antigo silt loam), of which I now know WAAAY more than I had ever thought I would about Wisconsin’s state soil (they have a state soil SONG for god’s sake!), I thought I’d post about my own state soil.

I didn’t even know you could have a state soil. I mean, I know I have a state bird (Eastern Bluebird); a state flower (Rose); a state fruit (apple); and state tree (sugar maple). But until I went looking, I didn’t know we had a state beverage (milk); state bush (lilac); state fossil (Euypterus Remipes); state insect (lady bug); state reptile (common snapping turtle): and state muffin (apple).

And we have a state soil–Honeoye! “Honeoye” is from the Iroquois “Hay-e-a-yeah.” And one of the Finger Lakes, mid state, is named Honeoye.

Honeoye soils are good for corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, vegetables, alfalfa, grass pasture, hay, grape and apple orchards. Wooded lots contain sugar maple, white ash, red and white oak, hickory, and more. This soil is found on about 500,000 acres across the state, are fertile, have a high base saturation, and are slightly acidic at the surface and neutral in the subsoil. No New York State soil song though.

For those of you with dirty minds–you have a state soil too (assuming you live in the states, Puerto Rico & Virgin Islands). To find out if you’re a Downer, Crider or a Pamunkey, check out the list below. Click on your state to get a .pdf of information on your official state soil.

To find out even more, visit the State Soils page of the Natural Resources Conservation Services’ website.

There. Now you are just that much smarter than the gardener next door?

I have a long-time garden blog, a popular garden on America's largest garden tour, and have co-written a book on garden design titled, "Buffalo-Style Gardens: Create a Quirky, One-of-a-Kind Private Garden with Eye-Catching Designs" When I'm not doing all that, I am an advertising designer always out looking to design things to promote your business. Look me up at #jcharlier.

0 comments on “What’s YOUR state soil?

  1. Oh, yes, I love my state soil, Miami. Good farmland makes for a good garden! I've posted about it before, my love of this soil.


  2. My state soil is named after the town I live in. Good for pine trees. Heck, the fact that I have any soil at all to garden in is still a miracle to me, having gardened for decades on the thinnest of soils over limestone.


  3. “Cecil” is the state soil of North Carolina. What you need Jim, is to pick up a copy (and I think it is free or very cheap) of a Soil Survey from your area. That will tell you so much more than you ever wanted to know! I couldn't live without mine! They are available through your local extension service.


  4. Carol,Wow. You love a soil. This is all new to me. I know soil is the key to any successful garden, but I never really thought about soil having names, let alone names like Pamunkey.Jean,I'm not quite sure what soil is in my area, but my raised bed vegetable garden is my own mix. I think I'll name it Jean, because it's rich & lovely.Pam,Cecil? Your soil is nerdy sounding. I'll have to look for a soil survey. I'm dying to know what my soil is named.


  5. Jim — Clearly you are digging up the dirt on everyone! Our state fossil is the Trilobite (did not have to look it up). State beverage is milk (but I'm guessing we actually drink more beer than milk) and our state dance is the Polka! Love your dirty photo.


  6. I'll bury this secret deep in your comments: In the very early days of the Internet when I wanted to remain anonymous, I used to post under the pseudonym Lester Loam: The state soil of Minnesota. Always loved it when folks replied to me as Lester.


  7. lester,Your secret is safe here. Barely a soul reads this blog!


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