Know Your Soil

soilSoil is the first thing that you will need when stating a garden, as it is where your plants are going to take root. there are may different types of soil, but in general it could be broken down into 6 categories. Below are the 6 types and their properties, as well as some tips to improve them.

Sandy 

Properties:

  • Coarse/ loose
  • Good in moisture retention
  • Easily dries
  • Warms easily
  • Poor in nutrients
  • Easy to work with

Tips:

  • Add Mulch
  • Add organic matter
  • Add fertilizers

Clay

Properties:

  • Sticky when wet
  • Very hard when dry
  • Good in moisture retention
  • Nutrient rich
  • Slow to warm up
  • Difficult to work with when dry

Tips:

  • Good drainage may be needed
  • Add sand or gravel
  • Add organic matter

Silty

Properties:

  • Soft and slick
  • Nutrient rich
  • Good in moisture retention
  • Compacts easily

Tips:

  • Good drainage may be needed
  • Add organic matter

Peaty

Properties:

  • Dark in color
  • Spongy
  • Good in moisture retention
  • Easily heats up
  • Rich in organic matter
  • Less nutrients
  • Acidic
  • Compacts easily

Tips:

  • Good drainage may be needed
  • Add organic matter
  • Add compost and lime

Chalky

Properties:

  • Stony and grainy
  • Rich in lime
  • Poor in nutrients
  • Bad water retention
  • Alkaline
  • Warms easily

Tips:

  • Add organic matter
  • Add fertilizer
  • Add mulch

Loam

Properties:

  • Dark in color
  • Good balance of silt, sand and clay
  • Damp
  • Good drainage
  • Good in moisture retention
  • Nutrient rich
  • East to cultivate
  • Warms easily
  • Less likely to dry out
  • May be acidic
  • May be high in calcium

Tips:

  • Add organic matter

 

 

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