What Type of Soil Do Plants Grow Best In?

The soil type, texture and PH determine the quality of the vegetables and the products. Mainly, the soil is made of three components: sand, clay and salt. The perfect soil contains an equal amount of the three components, making it productive and fertile, easy to dig and to drain. However, there are many plant types which prefer a certain soil type, richer in one of the three components.

Sandy soils contain many particles and large gaps. It makes it less fertile, as water and nutrients tend to drain a lot faster. Even with this loss, this type of soil tends to warm up faster in the spring time, thus making a great start for new seeds. Root vegetables, such as parsnips and carrots will grow fast in this environment, while cabbage or broccoli will dry fast, as they need sands rich in nutrients.

silt-and-clay-soilsSilt and clay soils are considered heavy soils, which have smaller particles. This property makes it possible for water and nutrients to reside longer within. They are hard to dig, and warm up really slow in spring time. The root vegetables will grow slow into this soil, as they have to struggle to penetrate this compact soil. This soil type is perfect for trees such as pear, because of their preference for moisture.

A simple test will let you know which soil type you have in your garden. You just have to take a little sample in wet conditions and let it dry naturally. If it takes a long time to dry, it might be clay, if it has a light color, it might be sandy. For a more accurate test, take a dry sample of soil, and roll it between your hands with a bit of water. If it feels sticky, it is loam, if it becomes shiny, it is clay, if it does not roll into a ball, it is sandy.