There are three main types of soils for gardening: loam, sand, silt, and clay soil. The best gardening soil is loam.
But all plants cannot grow in all types of land. Therefore, it is vital to know which ground suits which type of gardening.
If you love gardening, it is imperative to know the different types of soils best for planting. A clear idea about the different kinds of soil fit for cultivation.
It will be easier for you to figure out the plants or flowers for a particular soil. Let us take a look at the best types of land for gardening.
- Best Types of Soil for Gardening
- Sandy Soil
- Clay Soil
Best Types of Soil for Gardening
You can categorize soil by the amount of sand, silt, and clay it contains. These elements constitute the texture of the ground.
The composition of the land is related to its drainage capabilities and nutrient contents. The best garden soils as per their features are mentioned down below.
Loam is the best soil for a garden because it contains a perfect balance of silts, clay, and sand. It also includes a proper amount of humus. Other factors which make it desirable for gardening are:
High pH level
The optimum pH levels for the growth of most plants ranges from 6.0 to 7.0. The pH level is an essential factor determining the growth of the plants.
This range of pH allows the supply of proper nutrients to plants. It also helps the earthworms thrive longer.
High calcium level
Another vital growth factor of plants includes the calcium content of the ground. Calcium helps the soil to maintain an optimum level of chemicals.
It also promises the maximum reach of water to the plants’ roots. This phenomenon increases the ground’s ability to hold water.
Oxygen and salt balance
Calcium also loosens the soil, enabling the oxygen to reach the roots properly. Calcium helps reduce the salt content. The higher salt content can damage the root system and curb the plant’s growth. (Find the Best Mulch To Use)
The loam is soft and sandy. These texture properties are the reason for the excellent drainage facilities of the loam. The surface is also helpful in retaining water and plant nutrients.
Also, the crumbling kind of ground allows smooth airflow to the roots. It also helps to deliver proper moisture and food to the plant.
Therefore, loam is one of the best soils for gardening. It is highly suitable to grow potted plants in a portable potting bench.
Plants and flowers that you can garden in loam soil. Some of these flowers include perennials, shrubs, tubers, Wisteria, etc.
Sandy soil needs mulching to use it as garden soil. It is so because it cannot hold moisture, therefore, mulching it before applying is a must. The features of sandy soil are:
Gets washed away
It is not able to retain a decent amount of moisture. Therefore, it gets washed away very soon during heavy rains.
It cannot be used without proper mulching. This is because it cannot hold the roots in the earth tightly. (Read Adding Phosphorus To Soil)
Lack of nutrients
As it lacks moisture, therefore, it also cannot provide the plant with a lot of nutrients. The soil itself lacks nutrients because it gets overheated very soon
More comfortable to cultivate
It is easier to grow than other grounds. This can be attributed to its fast draining and drying properties.
Beneficial for plant growth
Not a lot of plants can grow in this ground. But it is considered the best soil for gardening.
It is so because when mixed with loam. It is beneficial for the growth of many plants.
Vegetables that grow in this soil are lettuce, carrots, zucchini, and potato. Shrubs and bulbs that you can garden in this ground are tulips, sun roses, and hibiscus.
Clay soil contains a lot of nutrients and is overloaded with moisture. The high moisture content often becomes a problem.
But if you can take care of the moisture content, then it is one of the best soils for gardening. The features of clay are:
Heavier to cultivate
It is heavier to grow, and it also gets warmed up very slowly. This is especially prominent during the spring season.
Heavy moisture content results in fewer air spaces. This results in poor drainage.
Clay is rocky and hard when it is dry, and it is lumpy and sticky when wet. Mostly the damp form of clay is used for gardening.
You can grow in this soil ornamental plants and fruits for your garden. Perennials and shrubs such as Helen’s flower, aster, and flowering quince grow well in clay.
The addition of organic matter makes this ground more fertile for gardening and also improves the draining capacity. Therefore, you will have to add other types of soil.
You can also add it to humus to make it compatible with better landscaping. The features of silt soil are:
More comfortable to cultivate
Compared to other grounds, silt is more natural to cultivate. It has been an ancient preference for most farmers.
Suitable for holding moisture
The texture of the silt is soft and soapy. This makes the soil sturdy enough to retain moisture.
Its moisture-holding capacity enables it to provide an adequate amount of nutrients to plants. A proper amount of nutrients is vital for enhancing plant growth.
All kinds of fruits, vegetables, and crops can grow in this ground if you can balance the drainage facility of the soil properly. Climbers, shrubs, grasses, and perennials mature well on this ground.
Remember, all types of soil for gardening do not suit all plants and flowers. Therefore, you might have to make small changes by adding a few necessary ingredients.
Most of the required components include humus, compost, mosses, and sand peat. So understand the need and prepare the soil accordingly.