The following is a map unit description from the "Soil Survey of Barnstable County, Massachusetts (Fletcher, 1993)"

BoB-Boxford silt loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes.

This very deep, gently sloping, moderately well drained soil is in areas of glacial lake deposits. It makes up approximately 0.2 percent (198 acres) of the survey area. It is mapped mainly in the Plymouth-EastchopCarver-Boxford general soil map unit. Areas are irregular in shape and range from 5 to 80 acres in size.

Typically, the surface is covered with a 1-inch layer of loose, undecomposed leaves and twigs. The surface layer is dark grayish brown, friable silt loam about 9 inches thick. The subsoil is about 17 inches thick. It is brown, friable silt loam in the upper 1 1 inches and grayish brown, friable silty clay loam in the lower 6 inches. The lower 14 inches of the subsoil is mottled. The substratum to a depth of 65 inches or more is grayish brown, mottled, firm silty clay loam.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Belgrade, Amostown, and Scitico soils and areas where slopes are less than 3 percent or more than 8 percent. Also included are many areas where the soil is underlain by sandy and gravelly material below a depth of 65 inches. Included soils make up about 30 percent of this unit.

Permeability is slow or very slow in the subsoil and substratum of the Boxford soil. Available water capacity is high. The seasonal high water table is at a depth of 1.5 to 3.0 feet in late fall, in winter and early spring, and after periods of heavy precipitation.

Many areas are used as woodland. Some areas are farmed, and a few areas have been developed for homesites.

This soil is well suited to cultivated crops. Good tilth can be easily maintained. The seasonal high water table, a high content of clay, and the hazard of erosion are management concerns. Wetness in early spring often delays farming activities. A drainage system is commonly needed in areas used for crops but is generally not needed in areas used for hay or pasture. Working the soil when it is wet results in the formation of clods that become hard when dry. Stripcropping, terracing, applying a system of conservation tillage, growing cover crops, and including grasses and legumes in the cropping system help to control runoff and erosion. Mixing crop residue and manure into the surface layer helps to maintain good tilth and increases the organic matter content.

This soil is well suited to hay and pasture. The main management objective is the prevention of overgrazing, which reduces the hardiness and density of desirable plants and exposes the soil to erosion. Proper stocking rates, timely grazing, and restricted use during wet periods help to maintain plant density and minimize surface compaction.

This soil is well suited to woodland. No major hazards or limitations restrict woodland management. Thinning dense stands to standard stocking levels results in more vigorous tree growth. Removal or control of competing vegetation may be necessary for the best growth of newly established seedlings. The most common trees are eastern white pine, red maple, pitch pine, wild cherry, white oak, scarlet oak, and redcedar.

The seasonal high water table is a limitation if this soil is used as a site for dwellings with or without basements or as a site for septic tank absorption fields. The slow or very slow permeability in the substratum also is a limitation on sites for septic tank absorption fields. Additions of fill or a regional drainage system helps to overcome the wetness. Enlarging the absorption field helps to overcome the restricted permeability. In areas where the soil is underlain by sandy and gravelly material, excavations that extend to this material generally can overcome the restricted permeability.

  • The capability subclass is Ile.

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