6 Different Types of Soil and Their Properties: Part Two

A close up of clean soil for cultivation with grass in the background.If you read part one of this blog, you’ve learned by now that soil is much more than just dirt. It provides plants with the vital nutrients and environmental conditions they need to thrive. However, not all soil is the same, and the well-being of your particular plants relies on using the right type. Let’s discuss the other three types of soil and what you can do to nurture a better growing environment for your landscape and garden.

1.     Loamy: Good Drainage, Moderate Nutrients

Loamy soil is a mixture of silt, sand, and clay. It has a very fine texture, which creates a combination of good drainage and moisture retention. While it holds nutrients fairly well, its drainage properties can wash away nutrients before plants have an opportunity to absorb them. As such, it’s important to add compost often to replace the lost nutrients. Loamy soil also tends to be acidic, so plants that are tolerant to these conditions – such as climbing plants, root crops, berries, and vegetables – perform well in this soil.

2.     Chalky: Great Drainage, Poor Nutrients

Chalky soil has larger grains compared to other types of soil and has a stony feel to it. It’s typically used to overlay bedrock since it has such high drainage. It’s also alkaline – meaning it has a pH above 7 – which tends to stunt plant growth and give leaves a yellowish hue. You can add organic fertilizers and balance the pH to make the soil more habitable, in which case you can grow plants such as cabbage, sweet corn, beets, and lilacs.

3.     Peaty: Poor Drainage, Moderate Nutrients

Peat has a dark color and has a spongy consistency when wet. It has a similar texture to peat moss if you’ve ever purchased that at a store. Like loam, it’s acidic, which can result in fewer nutrients. While it can heat up quickly during the spring and summer, it has great water retention. However, it’s a dense soil which can lead to drainage issues. It’s best that you dig drainage channels when using this soil. Root crops, lantern tress, and salad greens grow well in peat, and to improve plant growth, you can reduce the acidic nature of the soil by mixing in lime.

Now that you know about these three other types of soil, you can provide the best habitat for your plants. However, amending these soils – whether by leveling the pH balance or mixing in nutrients – is hard work. At Dolan Landscaping, we have the right equipment for the job. We’ll commit to perfecting your landscape maintenance and improving your property’s aesthetic. For help with your landscape, contact us today.