Types of soil

Matthew Rezab

There are six types of soil on earth. Soils are distinguished by not only their makeup, but also how big the particles are that make up the soil. Here’s a quick rundown.

  • Clay Soil

Clay has tiny particles (less than .002mm), making it ideal for water retention, and resulting in slower draining, as well as the ability to better hold nutrients. Leafy veggies, peas, tomatoes, and peppers all thrive in clay, as do roses, heleniums, and asters.

  • Silty Soil

Smooth to the touch, silty soil retains water pretty well, and is very fertile, however, it does lacks some nutrients. The particles in this soil are tiny, and it is great for agricultural use. Almost all fruits and vegetables can thrive in silty soil, and the plants that work well in it include milkweed, and yellow iris.

  • Loamy Soil

A gardener’s dream come true, loamy soil is a combination of silt, sand, and clay, as well as a bit of humus. Along with its ability to retain water and nutrients, loamy soil is ideal for crops and plants, such as tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots, as well as roses and marigolds, among many others. 

  • Sandy Soil

Containing the largest particles of all the soils, sandy soil is one of the worst types to try to grow plant life in. Because of the large particles, there’s a lot of space in between them, making it difficult for water to be retained. Tulips, hibiscus, and cistus, as well as watermelons, peanuts, and peaches thrive in sandy soil.

  • Peaty Soil

This dark brown, or sometimes black, soil is saturated with water and is rich in organic material, making it a great soil for growing, once drained. The plants that thrive in this soil are sphagnum moss, sedges, and ericaceous shrubs.

  • Saline Soil

Found mostly in very dry climates, saline soil is, like its name suggests, high in salt content. It is not a very good soil to grow in, resulting in damage to plants, stalled growth, impeded germination, and irrigation difficulties.

Information courtesy of www.udemy.com/blog/kinds-of-soil/

Read about the Iowa State soil judges here.