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Texas Black Soil?

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Copper1272

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I Know that there are some Texans on here so I have a question for ya.

We are buying property near Dallas the east side actually. I have noticed that the properties with Black soil are priced lower than the places with Sandy Loam. We have been told you can't build a slab foundation house on Black Soil. No Bigee for us. We are planning on running a foaling station and running a few head of cattle. My question is what are everyones thoughts on the differences between these soils good and bad? We found a decent priced place but it has Black Soil so that is what this is pertaining to. Thanks in advance for any help you might offer on this topic.

ps. Sorry if this isnt the right forum to post this on I just figured ya'll would know best about soils.
 

HAY MAKER

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Copper1272 said:
I Know that there are some Texans on here so I have a question for ya.

We are buying property near Dallas the east side actually. I have noticed that the properties with Black soil are priced lower than the places with Sandy Loam. We have been told you can't build a slab foundation house on Black Soil. No Bigee for us. We are planning on running a foaling station and running a few head of cattle. My question is what are everyones thoughts on the differences between these soils good and bad? We found a decent priced place but it has Black Soil so that is what this is pertaining to. Thanks in advance for any help you might offer on this topic.

ps. Sorry if this isnt the right forum to post this on I just figured ya'll would know best about soils.

copper1272,I dont know why some one would tell you that you can not pour a slab on black dirt,I guess they are refering to the fact it is mostly clay and will stress a slab with contration & expanding,just get you a good engineer,problem solved, truth be known the city of Dallas is built on black dirt as you call it.
You did'nt state what you were gonna do with all this black dirt,I guess farm it ?I dont have any problem with that ole black gumbo,just a lil harder ta plow,dont crumble like some of the sandy loams do,but with the right tools the differnce is minimal in my humble opinion,maybe some one with more farming experience will give their opinion,as all I farm is hay...............good luck
 

Dud

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I'm northeast of Dallas and have the black gumbo type soil. This soil is not
very permeable, low in nitrogen, and tends to move around quite a bit,
especially during drought conditions. Slab foundations are build, but usually over added fill dirt. If you build a pond, it will hold water like a bucket if compacted correctly.
 

Copper1272

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Thanks for the info. We won't be doing any farming mostly grazing and trying to get some rolls out of a portion of it. We had looked out by Weatherford but it seemed a lot more expensive than the other side of the metro area near Greenville.

Sorry to seem so ignorant about the soil there, down here all we have is sand so there aint much thought in it here. Heck I live almost in the everglades and you got to bring fill in here for everything unless your wanting to be swimming out of you barns or front doors in the summer season. :wink:
 

alabama

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If this black gumbo soil is like that in Alabama’s black belt, it is expansive clay. That means that it expanse when wet. This is not a problem if moisture stays in the soil under the foundation, which it does most of the time in Alabama. However, when under drought conditions and the soil dries several feet deep it shrinks around the edges of the foundation and leaves the slab without support under the out side walls. This can cause failures in slab and footing foundations. Some people run soaker hosed around the foundations in drought conditions. A better solution is to excavate two to three feet of this expansive clay and back fill with red sandy clay to use a base for the foundation. This removes the expansive clay from the zone that is the most susceptible for changes in moisture content and helps spread the load on the lower expansive clay. I also recommend that you bring the red sandy clay 6 to 12 inches above the original grade to allow drainage away from the structure.
I hope that helps.
 

efb

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The Texas Blacklands is a pretty large area actually. It extends from Temple to north of Dallas and is about 100 miles wide. The soil is fairly productive. A lot of cotton and corn raised on it plus pasture. The main problem with Ag production on it is when it is wet. It's high clay content makes it impossible to do much with when wet . It's the kind'a soil that when you walk across a wet field, each of your feet will weigh 35 lbs. It's difficult to run a lot of cattle on in a wet winter. There are about a million homes in the metroplex with slabs and 900,000 of them are cracked. Clay will expand and contract as it takes up and gives up water and it's strong enough to crack a concrete slab. Everybody just lives with it. You should get along fine if you establish a good stand of grass. If you buy a used house be sure to have it inspected for a cracked slab.
 

Copper1272

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Thanks so much for the info. I couldn't understand why the realtors were all hesitant about it...frankly downright rude about showin us a place with it always pushing for the properties with the sandy loam...but I think I know why now. I don't think they wanted to get their pretty little trendy feet dirty :shock:
 

efb

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Don't get me wrong. I'd rather have sandy loam soil, but a lot of people are making do in the Texas Blacklands.
 

Copper1272

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I would like the sandy loam too....But we haven't won the lottery lately and the bigger acreage seems cheaper if its black. So I guess we'll be makin sure we got nice grass before it rains too much. We did plan on mixin some sand into our arena though. Also in the paddocks closer to the house and barn. We are plannin on cashin in on our property down here if we can get out of here before Hurricane season that is. We had planned on puttin our place up in the fall last year but had to replace everything after Hurricane Wilma came thru and took most of it.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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We have some parts of our place that are blackland ......in winter it's like puddy (wet) summer time it dries out and cracks with places big enuff for cows and horses to break legs in. Never had that happen but it's possible. Them cracks get 5 or 6 inches across and you can't see the bottom.....dont wanna drop nothin important, cuz you won't see it again.
But it's fairly fertile ground.
If your makin hay on it, better git you either a cab tractor or a mask, makes for some bad dusty hay rakin.
 

meat_fire

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Welcome to the neighborhood. I live near Greenville, soil can vary allot from blackland to some sandy loam. It will crack big time in a dry summer ( or a dry winter as it is now). Sure need some rain now.

What are you planning on growing on your land?

There are many houses here that are built on a slab. Just have to keep dirt around the house semi moist in a dry year. Allot of my friends have slab and they have no problems.

once again welcome to NE Texas
 

Copper1272

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We mostly are gonna try to get set up as a foaling station. We won't be farming anything, probably just cutting whats there already for round bales. We are starting from scratch as far as land management. We know how to raises horses but down here we feed processed feed all year as well as buy hay. We keep our own pasture management here but dont have nearly as much land here as we plan to buy there. 20 acres of land here is about 1.7 million dollars and we were looking at getting close to a 100 or so there.

I am originally from Northern Idaho and went thru culture shock the first time I went to the feed store here. We never fed processed feed up home unless it was a really bad winter. So I am sure things will change all over again when we move out to Texas. Thanks for the welcome. I think anymore here most people would flip ya the bird if you were trying to move in. Getting to be tooooo many people here for my taste, can't wait to get out there where people actually smile at each other :lol:
 

Norris

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I would NOT put livestock on black land! In the summer time when things dy out you'll have cracks up to several inches wide and several feet deep. As one oldtimer told me "you'll learn to kepp small childern inside"! You cannot believe the water that black gumbo will hold. It just will not drain and livestock will bog down at the gates and feed troughs. We had one old cow that we but in a small 5 acre pasture behind the house, we took a two day trip and could find her when we came back. Looked everywhere, no fences down, just couldn't find her! A couple of day later I saw her head and horns sticking out of a very,very small creek running through the pasture. She had gotten in the creek and had bogged down to where all you could see was her head. That stuff is like quicksand when it is wet. No such thing as having enough gravel for your roads! It will eat dump truck load after dump truck load. May be great for farming but keep livestock off!!!!!!! Took us almost 15 years to sell out and move to the blessed rolling sand hills of East Texas!
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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Yeap and on that blackland, even the least lil bit of rain, you'll be stuck. Maybe not bogged down, but that stuff will build up on your tires and make em so big they won't go. I've learned to avoid drivin on the parts of the pasture that are blackland where the cows are, it's not as bad about crackin as it is in the pasture by the house. When we built , we made sure it was a sandhill and NOT blackland.
 

Copper1272

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I think we'll be spending the money on the Sandy Loam places then....Although do these cracks swallow up husbands when they are being ornery (spelling?) :lol:
 

Norris

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Copper1272 said:
I think we'll be spending the money on the Sandy Loam places then....Although do these cracks swallow up husbands when they are being ornery (spelling?) :lol:

It just makes us worse!!!
 

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