Regardless of what size your garden is, there are certain factors to consider. Water and fertilizers, for example, are two of them. Soil also happens to be extremely important to get the best results in your garden.
So what makes soil good? Is it the texture? The absorbability? Well, it is a little more complicated than that. Before we go any further, let us understand what we should know about the best soil to use for gardens
Types to Know About
There are three main types of soil. They are sand, loam and clay. Each of them has their own unique attributes and cons.
Sand contains the largest particles among the types of soil. This is why they feel rough to the touch, and why they cannot hold any water within.
Slit particles are smaller than sand, and feel like flour. They also have a tendency to dissolve temporarily in hot water.
Clay particles are extremely small; they feel sticky and slimy to the touch. There is such little distance between the tiny particles that most forms of sculpting are done with it.
At first glance, it may seem like the answer is simple – clay is the best! However, the answer is not that simple. Let us look more into why that is:
Plants Have Varying Necessities
Plants are living beings, like us – and they all require different kinds of care. Slit, sandy and clay are all suitable for plants, depending on which ones are in question.
Due to sand containing the biggest particles, they are not able to hold water or nutrients well. However, some plants can adapt to sandy soil well. The reasons for this are:
Plants with roots that would rot in damp soil.
Dry, rough environment preferring plants like cactus – which are drought tolerant.
Plants that prefer soil with neutral pH levels.
For most plants, clay soil is not suitable. They do not allow the plants to drain nutrients well, despite being able to hold them. Some plants that do go well in clay soil are mostly plants that have adapted to it.
Soil with a lot of silt contains a very high level of fertility. Most types of plants are not adaptable to slit soil. However, as usual, there are some exceptions, plants that grow well in wet soil, such as some types of weed. Water ridden plants such as certain flowers grow well in the water.
Loamy (combined) Soil
Loam soil is composed of a mixture of slit, sand and clay. Other components may also be present a lot of the time – such as humus.
Loam soil has a higher pH level compared to other types of soil. This acidity lets room for nutrients for good plants.
A higher calcium level means a better growth for your plans. Calcium allow oxygen to reach the roots and also improves the soil’s ability to retain water.
The loamy soil is dry and gritty to the touch, but still subtle enough for plants to grow well. The soil crumbles upon touch, this lets airflow stay steady – but also blocks most other unwanted debris from touching the roots.
Best Soils for Specifics
As we already learned, the same soil is not going to be good for all types of plants. Flowers, vegetables and indoor plants all need different types of soil for the best results.
Growing flowers in your garden would require you to have different types of soils. Sandy, loamy soil will be able to give you great draining in order to stop the plant from rotting. Moreover, that will also allow growth easily.
Texture will be important when you pot the soil. A window box or a flowerpot can be used. In order to create a flower garden, keep a fresh mixture of compost, peat and topsoil.
If your garden is a raised bed one, you want a half of compost and another of topsoil. In order to maintain a field garden, you need soil that can absorb well. You will want to use clay in order to make sure the water is draining.
For Indoor Plants
For houseplants, you want to either sterilize the soil that is outside. Else, you can create your own mixture that you think is right. It is tempting in how convenient it is to just put some soil inside a container and go with that.
However, you would eventually discover that this is an unhealthy way of growing indoor plants. It leaves room for bacteria, fungi and other contamination that can ruin your garden.
Track Your Progress
Consider doing this if you are a long time gardener, or want to be one. Try experimenting a little with your plants by switching up the types of soil you refill your pots with. That way, you know what to do! Your plants will always behave a little differently than what would be an ideal situation. This way, you can even maintain a journal to keep all your learnings and get even better results down the future.
No ‘Best’ Soil for Gardening
After all that we have talked about, it is clear that there is no direct answer to this. The soil requirement varies from plant to plan, environment to environment. This also makes it apparent that you should try to experiment with the general rules of thumb of soil in order to get the best results for your own garden!
We hope this article has been able to help you. If you are a beginner, you can learn more on compost, fertilizers and other factors that directly affect your gardening. Many other factors aside types of soil affect your gardening. Just remember one thing: Water regularly and ensure that your plants get plenty of sunlight. With that said, we hope you have the best gardening experiences!