Garden soil plays an important role in growing plants. As soil helps in water retention and holds the necessary nutrients. The soil has many microorganisms that fix the nitrogen. But due to different climatic and topographical conditions, there are different types of soil present in different regions. So, this article will guide you to determine the soil type and how to take care of the soil.
How To Test The Garden Soil?
- Take ⅓ of tap water in a glass jar.
- In the jar of water, add a handful of garden soil, put a cover, and shake it thoroughly and continuously so the water blends with the soil properly.
- Keep it in a quiet place for 5-10 minutes until the particles settle down properly.
- The large elements are most likely to be sand particles.
- Measure the thickness of this first layer of settled particles with a scale.
- Leave the jar for another couple of hours.
- The smaller particles have formed another coating on top of the primary layer.
- These are silt particles.
- Measure the thickness of this layer as well.
- Again leave the jar aside for a night.
- The third layer that forms on top of the silt is clay particles.
- Clay particles are extremely fine particles. Above this layer, a thin layer of organic matter will be observed.
- Measure the thickness of the layer of clay particles.
- Now check which type of particles take up more area in the jar.
- This will help you to determine the type of soil you have in your garden.
How to take care of the soil?
As we discussed earlier how to determine the soil type of your garden. Now, here we will discuss how to take care of different garden soil types:
- Loamy soil: This type of soil is best for gardening. Loamy soil consists of silt, sand, and clay and contains all the beneficial nutrients. Mostly all vegetables, fruits, and flowers can be grown in this type of soil.
- Clay soil: Clay soil is dense, thick, hard, and heavy when it is dry and when it is wet it’s muddy. To improve the clay soil for plant growth:
- Put some organic fertilizer or compost on top of the soil (at least 2-3inches).
- Give extra garden-friendly soil to make the soil suitable for plant growth.
- Don’t dig the soil much.
- Make sure to make a proper drainage system and can use permanent raised beds for water filtration.
- Cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, radish, and broccoli grow well in clay soil.
- Silty soil: Silty soil is powdery and soft in texture, finer than sandy soil. To improve the silty soil for plant growth:
- Using lime can lower the acidic level.
- Use organic matter and compost.
- At the beginning and end of every season add mulch.
- Make raised beds.
- Lower the digging of soil and avoid walking on garden beds.
- Onion, radish, garlic, and herbs grow well in silty soil.
- Sandy soil: Sandy soil is dry and quickly dries the water. It can’t hold the soil texture of the shape nicely. To improve sandy soil for plant growth.
- Put some organic fertilizer or compost on top of the soil (at least 3-4inches).
- Mulching helps to retain the moisture and keeps it cool.
- Add more organic matter.
- Potato, lettuce, spinach, and capsicum grow well in sandy soil.