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The Soil Types for Gardening

Thinking of keeping garden in your new house? Or planning on improving your current garden? Whatever it is, one thing…

By Erin Ellen , in Home Improvement , at May 14, 2019


Thinking of keeping garden in your new house? Or planning on improving your current garden? Whatever it is, one thing you must know is, it’s not as easy it sounds. While it does require hard work and dedication to get fruitful results in garden, the essence lies in the soil you pick for your garden. There are numerous considerations for you to be mindful of, in order to have good results from your gardening. From choosing the right pH of the soil to the right type, there is a lot. But, the primary factor that determines the results of your efforts in gardening is the type of soil you have in the garden. 

The most important step in choosing the right soil for your garden is, knowing the types of soil that are available. Once you know the type of soil you have, you can be sure about the type of soil supplies you need. You can also then determine the changes you need in your soil. This article will give you complete guide regarding the types of soil available.  

Sandy Soil 

Sandy soil is not the best option for your garden. This soil has the largest particles in it and it’s dry and gritty, because of the particles. Due to the relatively large particles in it, this soil does not retain water. This means water drain down to the roots’ section very quickly. It is also not the right soil to hold on to nutrients for the plants. The nutrients get washed away by the running water.  

On the bright side, this soil does warm up easily and it is quite light to work with.  

Silty Soil 

Silty soil is a relatively much better option than sandy soil. This type of soil does not have very large particles so it can easily retain the water for the plants. However, for the nutrients, although it does hold more nutrients than the sandy soil, it’s not enough. Nevertheless, silty soil is fertile and does give good result due to its moisture retentive quality.  

Clay Soil 

Clay soil is relatively more fertile than the two mentioned above. This is because, this soil has very small particles and air gaps in it. This helps this soil retain the water, as well as the nutrients for the plants. It drains very slowly and also holds on to sufficient amount of nutrients for the plants.  

Clay soil does take longer time to warm, due to the withheld moisture. It is also difficult to work with, especially in summers.  

Peaty Soil 

Peaty soil can be the most ideal or the worst soil for your gardening needs, depending on where you live. This soil has high water content and is also rich in organic matter. Peaty soil can retain good amount of water for the plants, even in summers. The ability of this soil to hold water is highly desirable for areas with low rainfall. This is because peaty soil can retain water for the roots for up to months. It also protects the roots in wet season.  

Peaty soil is fertile and can supply the plants with ample supply of water and nutrients. However, you do need to keep a close watch on the pH of the soil as peaty soil contains acidic water.   

Peaty soil can also become a fire hazard, if it’s not drained well.  

Saline soil 

Saline soil is the worst option for your soil and it is very important to make sure you do not have this soil in your garden. Due to the high concentration of salts, this soil can stall your plant’s growth and even prevent germination. It is usually brackish in dry regions.  

Want to find out if you have this soil? It’s easy. Just look for a whiteish layer on top of your soil. This white layer indicates high concentration of salt in the soil. You can also notice the results including:  

  • Leaves with burnt tips 
  • Poor growth of plants 
  • Stunted growth of plants 


This dark crumbly soil is considered to be ideal soil by most gardeners. It offers the perfect balance between water retention, air gap and required nutrients. Due to richness in organic matter, this soil does have a higher pH and calcium in the soil. Loam soil is also easy to drain and air can move freely in it, reaching the roots.