Gardening

Types of soil

How to recognize the types of terrain

Before starting to cultivate a portion of land it is important to know the type of land we have available; soil analysis can be carried out by laboratory analysis or by empirical methods. For a preliminary assessment, you can simply take a handful of earth and check for some structural features. If the soil crumbles with difficulty we will be in the presence of a clayey soil, while if the soil fails to compact and form a single block then the soil will be sandy. The presence of pebbles is the essential characteristic of a stony ground, while the dark color and softness are the peculiarity of peaty ground. Thanks to’

The main characteristics of clayey soil


A clayey soil is defined when its composition is composed of more than 40% clay, they are very compact and heavy soils with colloidal properties. The clayey soil has a compact consistency and is very difficult to work due to the lack of water which makes the cohesion bonds very strong. The clayey soils are however fertile thanks to the high presence of potassium, and are suitable for greenhouse crops but not for home gardens. The difficulty in cultivating clayey soil depends on the very fine structure of the particles that make it poorly drained and non-oxygenated. During the summer the clayey soil dries easily and loses a lot of moisture becoming very hard and compact, while in the winter months it is very fertile because it has the ability to retain moisture.

The main features of the sandy soil


The sandy soil is a soil composed mainly of sand, about 60%, it is defined as a loose soil for the lack of a well-defined structure and for the scarce presence of cohesion forces. The composition of the clayey soil is characterized by particles of different sizes that can be coarse, medium or small and by the presence of some minerals that are difficult to disintegrate such as quartz and feldspar. The sandy soil has no adhesiveness and a high absorbency, therefore it is very difficult for this soil to be able to retain water. The advantage of cultivating a sandy soil is to be able to work it with extreme ease thanks to the lightness and the high presence of oxygen that facilitate the growth of plants.

Types of soil: Loamy soil


The loamy soil is composed of 10% sand, 80% silt and 10% clay, this type of composite soil is very ductile and is ideal for cultivation. The loamy soil has a good capacity to retain water and nutrients, it looks like a not very compact soil during the summer season, easy to work and cultivate. The loamy soil is very porous and permeable, and is characterized by good drainage and good oxygenation during the spring and summer season. During the winter months, the presence of constant rains can determine the structure of the loamy soila muddy layer that turns into a very hard crust that is difficult to work with. To cultivate loamy soils it is always advisable to treat the soil with a mulch.

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