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Types Of Soil

Updated on January 11, 2012

A thin layer of little grains that covers the surface of earth is called soil. Soil is formed from a lot of different things including decaying plant, rock particles and animal matter. It takes a great amount of time for the formation of soil.

Soil is a very important ingredient in the growing of plants. If a wrong type of soil is used plants may cease to grow. Soil plays a very important role in gardening and plantation.

It is very important to choose the right kind of soil. Soil can be classified in to many different types due to the particles they possess. Few of these types are discussed below.

Silty Soil

Silty soil is one of the finest and most fertile soils. Its composition consists of materials like Quartz and other organic materials.

Silt around a house.
Silt around a house.
Clay Soil
Clay Soil

It has a lot of nutrients and is better for drainage. When Silty soil is dry it looks dark in color and has a pretty smooth surface.

It is comparatively easier to work when it is moist and offers a better drainage than other kind of soils.

Clay Soil

Clay soil is another kind of soil that occurs naturally. Its composition consists of extremely fine grained material, which makes this soil very difficult one to work with as the drainage in the soil is very low.

There is always a very good chance of water logging and the roots of the plants to be damaged.

The cultivation of clay soil is best done when it is wet because then it gets heavy and some fertilizers have to be added into them.

Heaps of sand
Heaps of sand

Sandy Soil

The drainage system highly depends on the size of the particles in the soil as it determines the amount of drainage that the soil allows. Sandy soil consists of biggest particles as compared to other types of soil and hence it provides a better drainage.

It is granular and its formation consists of small rock and mineral particles. Sandy soil is mainly formed due to the transportation and weathering of rocks like quartz, limestone and granite. It is comparatively easier to cultivate than other kind of soils but its flaw is that it supplies more drainage than needed.

This over drainage causes the plants to dehydrate in the summers. During the spring season this soil gets warm very fast so you should try to water it daily during the summer season and let it be in the winter and rainy seasons.

The quality of sandy soil is that it has the ability to retain moisture and nutrients. Precisely speaking, sandy soil is great for plants as it let the water to go off and does not let it stand near the roots and lead them to decay.


Peaty Soil

Peaty soil is basically formed from the dead and decayed organic matter. The amount of organic matter contained in it is far more than the amount of organic matter present in other types of soil.

This kind of soil is mostly formed in wet climate and is found in marshy places. The soil contains very less nutrients as compared to the amount of nutrients present in other types of soil though it does have more organic material present in its composition than other types of soils. 

Peaty soil is favorable to water logging but if the drainage system is well looked after it is ideal for growing plants.

Chalky Soil
Chalky Soil

Chalky Soil

Chalky soil is another kind of soil. It is very different from the peaty soil both in composition and characteristics. Chalky soil consists of large number of stones and is alkaline in nature.

This sort of soil is very much prone to dryness, which makes it a very bad choice for plantation during summer, because it requires far greater amount of fertilization and watering as compared to other types of soils. Besides being dry it also blocks nutrients from reaching the plants.

Loamy Soil
Loamy Soil

Loamy Soil

Another type of soil is Loamy soil. Loamy soil is a mixture of sand, silt and clay.

Even though this soil retains water but still drainage is well which is one of the reasons why it is thought of as a perfect soil.

This soil ranges from muddy to fertile soil. Among all the types of soils Loamy soil is thought of as an ideal soil to do cultivation.   


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