How To Compare The Different Soil Types Available For Your Landscape Garden

Whilst landscapers have great skills when it comes to designing the layout of a landscaped garden, their knowledge also extends to matters related to horticulture. By that, we are talking about them knowing which plants are suitable within a design, and the conditions which are best suited for each one.

If they did not have that knowledge, whilst they might initially create a great-looking garden, in time it would fail due to plants not growing, lawns looking discoloured due to poor drainage, and any other of the hundreds of other problems that can befall gardens. Thankfully, most landscapers are reputable and will ensure any landscape design they create will produce a garden that is an aesthetic joy, and that everything that grows within that garden will thrive.

A garden that thrives is only possible if the soil within it is suitable for the plants that grow there which brings us to one of those specific areas of knowledge that landscapers have. Knowing the types of soil that exist within a garden, and, where necessary, what soil needs to be added to allow the plants that are planned for it to have the best chances of growing healthily, is highly important.

Although we cannot cover every possibility, we have highlighted below some soil types that you might find in your garden and their various facets. This should allow you to compare them to ascertain which is most suited to your garden and your plans for it.

Silt Soil

The main facets of silt soil are that it is solid with dust-like sediment and is usually the result of deposits from weather features such as wind, rain, and ice. It contains mineral and rock particles that are finer than sand. When silt soil is subject to rainfall or watering its surface becomes slippery, and it will also retain much of that moisture. Silt soil is high in nutrients which is why grass, shrubs, fruits, vegetables, and many trees thrive in it

Peat Soil

Peat soil is usually formed due to organic matter such as vegetation decomposing and accumulating to create what is often referred to as ‘turf’. When viewed alongside other soils, peat soil will be darker, and it also feels spongier. It is highly acidic which can mean it has fewer nutrients, plus its drainage is not ideal, however, several shrubs and vegetables love peat soil more than any other such as heathers and salad vegetables.

Clay Soil

Clay soil is not favoured by some people as its drainage qualities are poor. When held it will feel sticky if it is wet, and hard and lumpy when dry. Its poor drainage can be overcome somewhat by good cultivation, and this can provide you with soil that is high in nutrients and thus anything planted in it will do well. The ideal plants for clay soil are perennial shrubs and fruit trees.

Loam Soil

Loam soil has a fine texture which is likely due to the balanced mix of clay, sand, and silt which make up its composition. It is highly popular and can be found in more landscaped gardens than any other soil, possibly due to it being extremely easy to use. This comes from its sound structure, good drainage qualities, and abundance of nutrients. The fact that it helps plants to thrive in all seasons also adds to loam soil’s appeal.

Chalk Soil

Chalk soil is somewhat of an outlier given that the others are acidic, whilst chalk soil is alkaline. It also contains larger particles and is regarded as stonier soil than the others we have highlighted. As such, it provides excellent drainage for gardens that have it. Chalk soil suits flowers such as lilies and lilacs, but its main use is in vegetable gardens where the likes of sweetcorn, cabbage, and spinach will grow healthily.