How To Deal With Different Soil Types in Your Garden

By Subodh / December 21, 2014

Have you ever tried to grow a plant, but failed to raise it? It happens many times that you try to grow a particular plant, but it cannot bloom in your garden. It may happen due to the type of soil in your garden. There are so many types of soils such as dry, wet, heavy etc. Every plant needs a peculiar soil for its survival. If these plants are planted in the wrong soil, they may not flourish as desired and you would end up wasting lots of money on the other expenses like fertilizers and pesticides. So it becomes crucial to check your soil type before planting any plant. Let us check out some tips to deal with different soil types in your garden.

Following are the different soil types:

soil

  • To check your soil type the first step is to just feel it. If it is sticky then it is clay soil, if it is gritty then it is sandy soil. Sandy soil needs lots of water for plantation because it cannot hold water. You can grow tulips, sun roses, hibiscus and vegetables like carrots, potatoes, peppers, corn and lettuce in sandy soils. On the other hand clay soil poses water logging problem so you cannot think of growing plants in it which require free draining. Shrubs, Fruit trees and ornamental trees can be grown in clay soils.
  • Silt soils, are made up of middle-sized particles and are fertile. These are well drained so can hold more moisture than other soils. But these soils are easily crushed. Trees that need moisture, such as Dogwood, Cypress grow well in silt soil. If you have adequate drainage in your garden, then you can grow a variety of vegetables and fruits in this soil.
  • Chalky soils are larger grained and harder than other soils. They allow free draining and are alkaline in nature. This can cause stunted growth of plant leaves but can be cured using fertilizers and pH balance. You can grow spinach, sweet corn and cabbage in this soil.
  • Peat soils are dark which are damp and spongy because of greater levels of peat. When mixed with organic matter, these soils become fertile and restore moisture. They are not used more often in gardens, but are good for root crops, legumes, camellia etc.
  • Loams are composed of sand, slit and clay, which make them fertile and well drained. These are good for bamboos, shrubs and tubers. They require proper management for preventing drying out. You need to rotate plants, add compost and plant green crops to keep it volatile.

Checking with a Soil Testing Kit

After testing the physical nature of the soil, it is time you evaluate it chemically. You can check the chemical nature of the soil using soil-testing kit that is easily available in the market for agricultural supplies. With this, you check whether your soil is acidic, alkaline or neutral.

  • Check its pH number.
  • It is measured from 1-14 on scale.
  • If the value ranges in between 1 to 7, then your soil is acidic.
  • If it is from 7 to 14 then soil type is alkaline.
  • If the value is 7 then the soil is neutral.

You need to add a sample of soil from your garden to the chemical solution from the kit along with rainwater and then dip in the stick, which is used for testing. The changes in the color indicate the pH and the soil type. Green color indicates neutral, dark blue is for alkaline soil and yellow orange for acidic.