There are six main types of soil and knowing your soil type can help you determine what is required to provide the vital nutrients, water retention and airflow that your gardens plants need. So what are these soil types?……
1. Clay Soil
Clay soil is lumpy and is sticky when wet and rock hard when dry. Clay soil has poor drainage and airflow. The soil takes a long time to warm up in spring and it is very heavy. If the drainage for the soil is enhanced, then plants will develop and grow well as clay soil can be rich in nutrients.
2. Sandy Soil
Sandy soil feels gritty. It drains easily, dries out fast and is easy to dig into. Sandy soil warms up fast in spring but holds fewer nutrients. The nutrients it does hold are often washed away during rain. Sandy soil requires organic amendments and also benefits from mulching to help retain moisture.
3. Silty Soil
Silty soil feels soft and soapy, it holds moisture, is usually very rich in nutrients. The soil is easily cultivated and can be compacted with little effort. This is a great soil for your garden if drainage is provided and managed. Mixing in compost is a good idea to improve drainage and add nutrients.
4. Peaty Soil
Peaty soil is a darker soil and feels damp and spongy. It is an acidic soil and slows down decomposition This type of soil is known for having fewer nutrients. The soil heats up quickly during spring and can retain a lot of water which usually requires drainage. Peat soil is great for growth when blended with rich organic matter and compost.
5. Chalky Soil
Chalky soil is larger grained and generally stonier compared to other soils. It is free draining and usually overlays chalk or limestone bedrock. The soil is alkaline in nature which sometimes leads to stunted growth and yellowish leaves – It is important to fertilize this type of soil and add organic matter to it as well
6. Loamy Soil
Loamy soil, a relatively even mix of sand, silt and clay, feels fine-textured and slightly damp. It has ideal characteristics for gardening, lawns and shrubs. Loamy soil has great structure, adequate drainage, is moisture retaining, full of nutrients, easily cultivated and it warms up quickly in spring, but doesn’t dry out quickly in summer. Loamy soils will benefit from organic matter or compost being added.
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