There are many different types of soils out there, and these can vastly affect the growth of your plants and vegetables. Each of the types have different properties and will effect what’s grown in them in different ways. In this article we're going to talk about five different types, so you can learn how they will affect your garden.
Clay soil is often sticky and lumpy when it is wet, but when it dries it turns very hard. The soil can be tough to cultivate because it has difficult draining properties and very few air pockets. However, perennials, shrubs, fruit and ornamental trees can thrive in clay soil, while vegetable crops at the beginning of their life cycle may struggle.
Sandy soil is gritty but it can drain quickly and dries out fast, making it easy to use. However, it does sometimes hold fewer nutrients because sometimes these properties can wash away in the wetter weather. Sandy soil generally needs further organic input from fertilisers or greensand to help it thrive. Shrubs and bulbs grow well in sandy soil, and so too do vegetables like greens, capsicums, strawberries and zucchinis.
If your garden has its own drainage system, then silty soil might work well there, as it’s rich in nutrients and retains moisture. This soft and soapy soil should be mixed with organic compost for best results. Shrubs, grasses, climbers and perennials thrive in silty soil, and many vegetable and fruit crops like this type of soil too.
Peaty soil is dark in colour and feels spongy because of the peat. It can heat up quickly when the weather is warm and hordes the water without draining very frequently. To reduce the acidity of the soil, you can mix it with organic compost. Shrubs and vegetable crops like salads tend to perform well in peaty soil.
Chalky soil drains well but it has a high alkaline quality, which can sometimes stunt the growth of plants. To get past these issues, hummus can be added to the soil to improve water retention. Trees, bulbs and shrubs can thrive in chalky soil, and spinach, sweetcorn and cabbage are just some of the vegetables that grow well in this type of soil too. What kind of soil do you have in your garden, and which plants do you find thrive there?