Whether you are using soil for gardening or soil for potted plants, you need to make sure you have the right kind of soil for your project. The two basic features you can use to evaluate soil is the fertility and texture. Based on these two features, there are five main types of soil that you can use. By knowing the key features of each soil type, you’ll be sure to use the proper type for your landscape project.
- Sandy Soil
Sandy soil is light, warm, and dry with a low nutrient count. This soil tends to be light because of its high proportion of sand and low amount of clay. The benefit of sandy soil is that it has fast water drainage and is quick to warm up. These features tend to dry out sandy soil in the summer, but adding organic matter to the soil will give plants a nutrient boost and improve its water-holding capacity.
- Clay Soil
Clay weighs more than sand, making it a heavy soil that benefits from high nutrients. During the winter, clay soils remain cold and wet. In the summer, they tend to dry out. This soil is made of over 25% clay and the spaces in between clay particles help the soil to hold a high amount of water. Clay soil can be frustrating to work with, as it drains slowly and tends to dry and crack in the summer.
- Peat Soil
Peat soil is very rarely found in natural gardens. Instead, it is often imported in to provide a nutrient-rich soil base for planting. Peat soil tends to retain a large amount of moisture and is high in organic matter, making it perfect for any landscape supply.
- Silt Soil
Among the different types of soil, silt soil has a high fertility rating. It is light and moisture retentive. This soil is made of medium-sized particles, allow it to both drain well and to hold moisture well. The particles are prone to washing away in the rain, but they can be bound in more stable clumps with an addition of organic matter.
- Loamy Soil
Loam soil is considered the be the favorite of gardeners. It is made of a combination of sand, silt, and clay that is designed in such a way to avoid the negative effects of each type. Loam soil is fertile, easy to work with, and provides good drainage. By varying the predominant composition, this soil can be either sandy or clay loam.
When you know the different types of soil, you can make an informed decision about what to use for your landscape project. Pick the soil that best suits the needs of your property, and start planting right away.