Sunday, November 13, 2022

Classification of soil

Soil is a natural resource that can be categorized into different soil types. There are six main soil groups: clay, sandy, silty, peaty, chalky and loamy. They each have different properties.
*Sandy soil
*Silt soil
*Clay soil
*Loamy soil
*Peaty soil
*Chalky soil

Sandy soil
The first type of soil is sand. Sandy soils are light, dry, warm, low in nutrients and often acidic. It consists of small particles of weathered rock. Sandy soils are often known as light soils due to their high proportion of sand and little clay (clay weighs more than sand).

Sandy soils are one of the poorest types of soil for growing plants because it has very low nutrients and poor water holding capacity, which makes it hard for the plant’s roots to absorb water. These soils have quick water drainage and are easy to work with.

Unfortunately, sandy soil is not good for growing many plants. Shrubs and bulbs such as tulips, tree mallow, sun roses, and hibiscus like sandy soils. Root crops like carrots, parsnips and potatoes favour sandy soils.

Silt soil
Silt soils are composed of fine particles that can be easily compacted. The soil is made up of rock and other mineral particles, which are smaller than sand and larger than clay. It is the smooth and fine quality of the soil that holds water better than sand.

This type of soil is well-suited for most veggies, as well as for climbing plants and perennial plants. Moisture-loving trees such as willow, birch, dogwood and cypress do well in silty soils.

Clay soil
Clay is the smallest particle among the other two types of soil. The particles in this soil are tightly packed together with each other with very little or no airspace. Clay soils are heavy, high in nutrients, wet and cold in winter and baked dry in summer.

These soils are made of over 25 percent clay, and because of the spaces found between clay particles, clay soils hold a high amount of water and makes it hard for moisture and air to penetrate into it. It is very sticky to the touch when wet but smooth when dried.

Perennials and shrubs, such as Helen’s flower, aster, bergamot, flowering quince, do well in clay soil. Early vegetable crops and soft berry crops can be difficult to grow in clay soil because of its cool, compact nature.

Loamy soil
Loamy soils are comprised of a mixture of clay, sand and silt that avoid the extremes of clay or sandy soils and are fertile, well-drained and easily worked. Loamy soil is rich in nutrients and drains very well yet manages to retain enough water so it does not dry out under a hot summer sun. It is more suitable for farming.

This soil is also referred to as agricultural soil as it includes an equilibrium of all three types of soil materials, being sandy, clay, and silt, and it also happens to have humus. Most vegetable crops and berry crops will do well since loamy soil can be the most productive of loamy soil types.

Peaty soil
Peat soils are mainly organic matter and are usually very fertile and hold much moisture. This type of soil is very rarely found in a garden and often imported into a garden to provide an optimum soil base for planting.

Chalky soil
Chalky soils are very alkaline and may be light or heavy. As these soils are alkaline they will not support the growth of ericaceous plants that require acidic soils to grow. Trees, bulbs and shrubs such as Lilac, weigela, Madonna lilies, pinks, mock oranges.
Classification of soil

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