Different Types of Soil
Having the correct kind of soil for each plant can mean the difference between ordinary development and exceptional growth (or even simply decay!). There are six types of soil, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.Here are a list of different soils.
- Composed of a minimum of 25% clay.
- Dries out during hot weather, becoming hard and crumbly.
- Can become waterlogged and boggy during wet weather.
- Retains water well (often too well!) and warmth.
- Is very fertile, containing many nutrients (which can be boosted with fertiliser or compost).
- Should be used in a well-drained area (such as a hanging basket).
- Useful for growing Buddleia (Butterfly Bush), Fuchsias, Geraniums and Helenium.
- Composed of a high sand content with small amounts of clay.
- Gritty to the touch and furthermore this soil dries out easily in warm weather.
- Retains warmth and also warms up rapidly.
- Is easily cultivated.
- Does not hold nutrients successfully; many wash out with ease.
- Is highly acidic; the pH level can be lowered by mixing the soil with lime and grit.
- Useful for growing tulips (with plenty of water and sunlight), Lavatera (Tree Mallows) and Snow Drops. NOTE that Snow Drops do require additional nutrients to be added to the soil (in the form of fertiliser or compost).
- This is the most common soil in Scotland.
- A composition of decomposed organic matter.
- Highly acidic (which can be altered with lime and grit).
- Lacks in nutrients so therefore needs to be supplemented with a fertiliser or compost.
- Does not drain well and can easily become waterlogged and boggy.
- Heats up fast, making it ideal for the Spring and also retains warmth.
- Useful for growing heather (of which there are 700 species worldwide, many of which are found in Scotland) and Rhododendron.
- Unfortunately, rare in Scotland.
- Drains well but retains necessary moisture and is furthermore is easily cultivated.
- Contains many of the nutrients required for successful and healthy plant growth.
- Is weak structurally therefore collapses when pressure is applied . If this goes untreated then the soil risks becoming boggy.
- Useful for growing Pharmium (New Zealand Flax) and the Mahonia (a plant grown all across Scotland, except in Orkney and The Shetlands).
- Has a stone-based composition.
- Has a high alkaline content.
- Drains very well.
- Contains little to no nourishment, thereby making it poor for aiding plant growth.
- Can be supplemented with fertiliser or compost.
- Furthermore chalk soil is Useful for growing the lilac, Madonna Lily and Dianthus (though useless for most else).
- Often referred to as ‘The Perfect Soil’.
- A composition of the best traits from clay, sand and silt soils, with none of their weaknesses.
- Retains moisture and also heats up rapidly and retains the warmth.
- Drains well.
- Is not weather-weary like clay soil.
- Almost any plant will thrive in loam soil because of its rich composition.
- Furthermore Loam soil’s pH level can be customised easily for optimal growth in accordance with each plant.
So the next time you are buying soil, take into consideration which will best aid your garden growth.