The soil determines the yield of plants in your gardening. Though planting practices could support the healthy growth of crops, they depend on the soil for nutrients. A fertile gardening soil will provide the plants with minerals and water required for growth, maturity, and fruiting. The composition of the earth crust at any location determines how successful plants can grow there.
Gardening Soil Types
The knowledge of the characteristics of soils will enable you to choose a gardening soil that favors your plants. Therefore gardeners can improve the fertility of their backyard soil to provide the nutrients required by plants. The properties of the types of soils discussed below will enable you to make the right choice for your garden.
This soil group is sticky when wet. It becomes rock hard and can crack in dry weather. You can mold clay soil into shape. Though difficult to cultivate, it is rich in nutrients. These minerals reduce the air spaces in the soil, increasing its ability to retain water. Improving the drainage of clay soil will make the nutrients available to plants. Ornamental plants, fruit trees, and shrubs can grow well on this soil.
This soil type has large particles with big air spaces between them. It easy to cultivate and heats up quickly in hot weather. Due to its porosity, it has poor fertility. The nutrients and water can drain easily from the sandy soil. The addition of organic fertilizer can improve the texture and nutrient content of the soil. Besides, mulching can aid in retaining moisture. Shallow-rooted plants are likely to dry out. Root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnip, and carrots can thrive in sandy soil. Peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, collard greens and strawberries can grow on it.
It is a mixture of sand, clay, and silt. Loamy soil is rich in nutrients and retains moisture. However, you can replenish it regularly with organic matter. The addition of compost and use of mulches can improve the soil’s fertility. Such practice will prevent depletion of nutrients and moisture. Loamy soil is easy to cultivate but doesn’t dry out in hot seasons. Though acidic, loamy soil is an ideal gardening soil. Berry crops, tubers, and vegetables can grow well in loamy soil.
This soil type has bigger particle than clay soil. However, they can become compacted. It is fertile and can retain moisture. You can mold silt soil into shape but it is not sticky when wet. Adding organic matter can enhance the structure and drainage of the soil. It is a great option for growing fruits and vegetable crops. You have a great soil for gardening if the soil at your backyard is silt.
This soil group contains stones and large particles. It is alkaline and drains freely. Its high pH leads to yellowing of leaves and stunted growth. You can correct the condition with appropriate fertilizers. Organic matter can also enhance its drainage. Vegetables such as cabbage, beets, chicory, and spinach thrive in chalky soil.
This soil feels spongy and damp due to high peat content. It is acidic and contains fewer nutrients than other types of soils. You can improve its drainage and reduce acidity with organic matter and lime respectively. Enhanced peat soil supports the growth of root crops, legumes and vegetables like Brassicas.
You have to identify the type of soil in your backyard. Improve it if necessary and plant the crops that can thrive in it. Maintain the gardening soil fertility to ensure high yield from your garden.