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

Enfield Profile

EnB-Enfield silt loam, 3 to 8 percent slopes.

This very deep, gently sloping, well drained soil is in broad, undulating areas and on low hills on outwash plains. It makes up about 1.4 percent (3,519 acres) of the survey area. It is mapped mainly in the Enfield-MerrimacCarver general soil map unit. Areas are irregular in shape and from 5 to 800 acres in size.

Typically, the surface is covered with an organic layer. This layer is about 1 inch of loose, undecomposed leaves and twigs and 1 inch of partly decomposed and well decomposed organic material. The surface layer is brown, very friable silt loam about 1 inch thick. The subsoil is about 30 inches thick. It grades from reddish brown and strong brown in the upper part to yellowish brown in the lower part. It is friable silt loam in the upper 28 inches and friable very fine sandy loam in the lower 2 inches. The substratum extends to a depth of 65 inches or more. It is yellowish brown, friable gravelly loamy coarse sand in the upper 2 inches and brownish yellow, light yellowish brown, and pale brown, loose, stratified sand and gravel in the lower part.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Carver, Hinckley, and Merrimac soils and areas where slopes are less than 3 percent or more than 8 percent. Included soils make up about 20 percent of this unit.

Permeability is moderate in the subsoil of the Enfield soil and rapid or very rapid in the substratum. Available water capacity is moderate. Depth to the seasonal high water table is more than 6 feet.

Most areas are used as woodland. Many areas have been developed for homesites, and some areas are used as cropland.

This soil is well suited to cultivated crops. It is among the most productive soils in the survey area. Good tilth can be easily maintained. Erosion is a management concern. Farming on the contour or across the slope, terracing, stripcropping, including grasses and legumes in the crop rotation, growing cover crops, and applying a system of conservation tillage 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 concern is the prevention of overgrazing, which reduces the hardiness and density of desirable plants. 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. Removal or control of competing vegetation helps to obtain the best growth of newly established seedlings. The most common trees are white oak, eastern white pine, pitch pine, scarlet oak, and black oak.

This soil is suitable as a site for buildings with or without basements. It readily absorbs but may not adequately filter the effluent in septic tank absorption fields. The poor filtering capacity may result in the pollution of ground water. The hazard of pollution increases with the density of housing. Precautionary measures may be necessary in some areas.

  • The capability subclass is Ile.

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