No two backyards are alike. When it comes to soil, you can have a variety of textures and densities you have to work with. And what about nutrients? Does your soil have enough of the good stuff to give you the garden you’ve been dreaming of? In this blog, we are going to look at the different kinds of soil you may have in your backyard. Knowing your soil will help you decided what to plant and how to best take care of your soil.
Clay soil can be rich in nutrients but absolutely terrible for drainage. Clay is compact and is difficult to work with as it is very hard when dry and sticky when wet. Despite its fickle nature, if you enhance the soil’s ability to drain, you can get some nice plants in your garden. You can plant ornamental trees, fruit trees, and many kinds of perennials. Other plants will have a difficult time growing in clay, such as vegetables and berries.
Sandy soil is thin, gritty and dries quickly. It is very easy to work with in the garden but isn’t as nutritious as other soils. If you have sandy soil, be sure to add some organic additives like glacial rock or kelp meal to bring your soil up to growing standard. You can add mulch as well to help out your garden bed. Thankfully, there are a lot of plants that will do well in sandy soil, especially fruits and vegetables. You can grow zucchini, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, strawberries, and more!
Silty soil is nutrient rich, soft, and retains moisture well. It is also very easy to work with and is easy to dig and compact. So long as you have taken steps to ensure proper drainage, you can use this kind of soil for gardens and farming. If you wish to improve the texture of this soil (since it can be a little soapy), add some compost and other organic matter to the mix. With this soil you can grow shrubs, grass, climbing plants, and beautiful trees such as cypress, birch, dogwood, and willow.
Peaty soil gets its name from the content that makes it dark: peat. Peat is acidic and lowers the nutritional content of the soil. When the weather gets warm, the soil retains moisture a little too well, so it will require assistance with drainage. Drainage channels may be the way to go to dry up the soil. You can further help your soil out by adding some compost and lime to your soil to lower the acidity levels. Despite its strange nature, you can grow a lot in peaty soil. You can grow legumes, root crops, and salad crops.
Chalky soil is gritty, stony, and well…like chalk! The soil has a lot of alkaline which will give your plants a hard time. This may result in stunted growth and yellowish leaves. You can solve this problem by balancing the pH levels in the soil. Talk to your local nursery to get more ideas on how to treat this kind of soil. In chalky soil, you can grow trees, shrubs, and beautiful flowers plants like Lilac, Madonna lilies, and Mock Oranges.
Loamy soil is a mixture of many kinds of soils. You can have a mixture of sand, clay, or silt. Loamy soil is the dream soil as it is diverse and can support a wide variety of plants. But be careful, you will need to replenish the soil it organic matter to keep the acidity levels down. You can grow all kinds of plants, including perennials, shrubs, tubers, and all kinds of fruits and vegetables. Despite this being the dream soil for any gardener, you will have to be dedicated to the high maintenance it demands of its owners. Make sure to regularly use mulch, use green manure, and add compost frequently to keep the soil in tip top shape.
Now that you have an idea as to what you may have in your backyard, you can now plan out your dream garden and prove yourself a successful gardener. If you still aren’t sure what your soil is, bring a sample to your local nursery and they should be able to help you out in no time.