PLYMOUTH COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS SOIL SURVEY UPDATE

309B Moshup loam, 3 to 6 percent slopes.

This very deep, gently sloping, moderately well drained soil formed in loamy to clayey till and/or glacially thrusted coastal plain deposits. It is on broad tops of hills and on the lower parts of long slopes mainly on the Marshfield Hills and isolated areas of the northeastern part of the County.

Moshup soils typically have a surface layer covered with a 1-inch-thick layer of loose leaves and twigs. The surface soil layer is very dark grayish brown and dark grayish brown loam about 8 inches thick. The subsoil is dark yellowish brown loam and silty clay loam about 15 inches thick and is mottled in the lower 4 inches. The substratum is light brownish gray, mottled, firm silty clay loam to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Eldridge, Scio, and Birchwood soils on similar landscape positions. Plymouth and Barnstable soils are on knobs and higher elevations. Enosburg and Birdsall soils are on lowere elevations and along drainageways. Also included are areas of soils where the subsoil and substratum have thin strata of loamy sand, sand, gravelly loamy sand, or gravelly sand and small areas of soils with slopes of 0 to 3 percent or 8 to 15 percent. Included areas make up about 25 percent of this unit.

Soil Properties:
Permeability: moderate or moderately rapid in the subsoil and slow to very slow in the substratum.
Available water capacity: moderate
Soil reaction: extremely acid to strongly acid in the surface layer and from very strongly acid to strongly acid in the subsoil and substratum
Depth to bedrock: more than 60 inches.
Seasonal high water table: Depth: 1.5 to 3.0 feet below the surface.
Type & Months: perched, Dec. to May.
Hydrologic group: C
Hydric soil: no
Capability subclass: IIw
Flooding/Ponding Potential: Frequency & Type: none.
Duration & Months: none.

Most areas of this soil are in woodland. Some areas are in cropland, and some are used as homesites.

Suitability:

Crops:

This map unit is considered prime farmland. This soil is suited to cultivated crops and to hay and pasture. The seasonal high water table is the main management concern. Good tilth is easily maintained, but erosion is a hazard in cultivated areas. The use of cover crops and grasses and legumes in the cropping system and mixing crop residue and manure into the surface layer help to maintain tilth, increase the organic matter content, and reduce the erosion hazard. The use of proper stocking rates and deferred and rotational grazing help to maintain desirable pasture plant species. Deferred grazing when the pasture is wet helps to prevent damage to the sod.

Woodland:

This soil is well suited to woodland productivity. Thinning crowded stands and removal or control of vegetation that competes with seedlings are the main management practices. The common trees on this soil are black oak, white oak, red maple, and tupelo.

Development:

The seasonal high water table is a main limitation of the soil as a site for dwellings and septic tank absorption fields, and the permeability in the substratum is a further limitation for septic tank absorption fields. Adding fill and using regional drainage help to overcome the water table. Enlarging the absorption field helps to overcome the permeability. In some areas the slowly permeable material is underlain be pockets of more permeable material. Erosion hazards are likely when these areas are disturbed. Erosion control measures should be used prior to disturbances. This soil occurs in areas of large thrust plates of clayey material. The plates are commonly separated by sandy material, a problem with soil movement such as landslides may occur on these soils.

309C Moshup loam, 8 to 15 percent, very stony.

This very deep, moderately steep, moderately well drained soil formed in loamy to clayey till and/or glacially thrusted coastal plain deposits. It is on broad tops of hills and on the lower parts of long slopes mainly on the Marshfield Hills and isolated areas of the northeastern part of the County.

Moshup soils typically have a surface layer covered with a 1-inch-thick layer of loose leaves and twigs. The surface soil layer is very dark grayish brown and dark grayish brown loam about 8 inches thick. The subsoil is dark yellowish brown loam and silty clay loam about 15 inches thick and is mottled in the lower 4 inches. The substratum is light brownish gray, mottled, firm silty clay loam to a depth of 60 inches or more.

Included with this soil in mapping are small areas of Eldridge, Scio, and Birchwood soils on similar landscape positions. Plymouth and Barnstable soils are on knobs and higher elevations. Enosburg and Birdsall soils are on lowere elevations and along drainageways. Also included are areas of soils where the subsoil and substratum have thin strata of loamy sand, sand, gravelly loamy sand, or gravelly sand and small areas of soils with slopes less than 3 percent and areas without surface stones and boulders. Included areas make up about 25 percent of this unit.

Soil Properties:
Permeability: moderate or moderately rapid in the subsoil and slow to very slow in the substratum.
Available water capacity: moderate
Soil reaction: extremely acid to strongly acid in the surface layer and from very strongly acid to strongly acid in the subsoil and substratum
Depth to bedrock: more than 60 inches.
Seasonal high water table: Depth: 1.5 to 3.0 feet below the surface.
Type & Months: perched, Dec. to May.
Hydrologic group: C
Hydric soil: no
Capability subclass: IIIe
Flooding/Ponding Potential: Frequency & Type: none.
Duration & Months: none.

Most areas of this soil are in woodland. Some areas are in cropland, and some are used as homesites.

Suitability:

Crops:

This soil is suited to cultivated crops, orchards and pasture but it is highly erodible on slopes longer than 150 feet. Farming on the contour, stripcropping, conservation tillage, diversions and the use of cover crops, grasses and legumes in the cropping system help to reduce runoff and control erosion. The perched high water table may delay planting in spring or harvesting in fall. Pasture grasses that can tolerate seasonal wetness are well suited to this soil. Drainage is necessary for optimum crop growth and the most efficient use of machinery. The firm substratum increases the difficulty of installing drainage systems. The prevention of overgrazing is the main management objective. Rotation grazing and restricted use during wet periods helps to prevent compaction and maintain desirable plant densities. This soil occurs on hills that exhibit good air drainage, providing some frost protection for fruit crops.

Woodland:

This soil is well suited for woodland productivity and there are no major limitations that restrict woodland management. The high productivity of this soil justifies intensive management for either hardwoods or conifers. Plant competition at the time of regeneration is moderate if conifers are grown. Removal or control of competing vegetation may be necessary for optimum growth of newly established seedlings. Thin crowded stands to accepted standard stocking levels with priority given to diseased, poorly formed or otherwise undesirable trees to provide for more vigorous growth. Shelterwood cutting, seed tree cutting and clearcutting can be used to establish natural regeneration or to provide suitable planting sites. Reduce runoff and prevent excessive erosion by constructing access roads and trails along the contour, installing water bars and minimizing soil disturbance.

Development:

Slope and soil wetness are the main limitations for building site development. Constructing buildings without basements and designing landscaping to drain surface water away from buildings will help to avoid interior damage caused by excess soil wetness. Basement floors should be designed above seasonal high water. When basement floors are placed more than two feet below the surface, footing drains around foundations and the use of sump pumps will help to remove excess subsurface water. Buildings and lots designed to conform to the natural shape of the land will help to overcome the slope limitation. Planting exposed areas with well adapted grasses and mulching during construction will help to reduce runoff and minimize erosion. Slope, excess soil water and frost action are the main limitations for road construction. Roads designed along the contour will help reduce excessive erosion. Construct roads on well-compacted, coarse-textured base material and provide adequate side ditches and culverts to protect from damage caused by wetness and frost action. Due to the seasonal high water table and restricted permeability in the substratum, this soil has very low potential for septic tank absorption fields. Installing a larger than average distribution system in a mound of more suitable fill material will help to overcome these limitations. In some areas the slowly permeable material is underlain be pockets of more permeable material. This soil occurs in areas of large thrust plates of clayey material. The plates are commonly separated by sandy material, a problem with soil movement such as landslides may occur on these soils. Subsurface stones and boulders associated with this glacial till soil may hinder excavation operations.

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