Sunday, May 3, 2009

Soil Types - Tips You Should Know About Your Plants Soil and Testing

Understanding the type or the classification of the soil you are working with in your garden will give you a better understanding of what is needed and how amendments can improve it.

There are four main elements to soil, air, minerals, organic matter and water. Minerals are the element that makes up the texture. It consists of grains of sand, pulverized rock and pebbles. The size, proportion and type of mineral is what makes up the soils texture that determines what type it is. There are four types that can be classified by the soils texture, sand, silt, clay or loam.

Sand is light and very easy to dig. It will also warm up quickly and has a large volume of air. Sand doesn't retain moisture well or retain nutrients needed by plants well.

Silt has a heavier texture than sand and a lighter texture than clay. It is also doesn't drain well and the surface when dry crusts and sheds water off due to the percentage of silt particles in it.

Clay is a very heavy and very difficult to dig. It has very little pore space for air but is usually very high in nutrients that plants need. Once clay is wet it doesn't dry out for a long period of time due to it's poor drainage characteristics. The one thing about clay is that if you amend it with plenty of organic matter to where it is workable it makes a excellent nutrient rich garden soil.

Loam is a well balance of sand, silt, clay and organic matter. Good healthy loam has a structure that retains the proper amounts of moisture and nutrients as well as having a good drainage ability.

Testing your garden soil is simple to do and will greatly benefit your garden. Test kits are available at most local garden centers.

A environment friendly and healthy way of gardening. Organic Gardening is away of gardening in harmony with nature. Growing a healthy and productive crop in a way that is healthier for both you and the environment.

John Yazo

Building Safe Stairs

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