Garden Soil Nature’s Gold

Nature’s Gold

Good garden soil

One thing to remember is that in order to have a healthy garden, soil plays an important part if you are to have any success. Those delicious fruits and vegetables that we see when we go to the supermarket can only be produced in part because of the soil quality that they were grown in.  The soil is such an important part of a plant’s life that without it, we can forget about those wonderful fruits, vegetables, and herbs that we love and flavor our meals with.

Soil Type

So with that said we will be looking at different soil types. But what is also important to know is that good garden soil is not dead as some people think but is very much alive.

What that simply means is that billions of microbes live in the soil working hard to enrich that soil to meet the requirements that all plant life needs in order to survive.

These microbes break down leaves that fall on the soil surface i.e. dead plant roots, grass clippings, tree stumps, the bodies of dead insects, and animals. This process enriches the soil while the plants, in turn, take up the nutrients through their roots.

Garden soil Nature’s gold

Names of soil microbes

  1. Bacteria
  2. Amoebae
  3. Algae
  4. Fungi
  5. Protozoa
  6. Actinomycetes

Sandy soil

Sandy soil particles are larger than any other soil particle. It is dry and course and because the spaces between them are so far apart they cannot hold water. The water holding capacity is poor.

And so because of this, plants growing in this type of soil do not get the adequate water nor vitamins that they need to survive. To test if you have sandy soil get a sample and wet it thoroughly. Place it in your hands to make a ball and if the ball crumbles after you release pressure by opening your hand then that’s a sign that you have sandy soil.

The good thing though about sandy soil is that you can plant desert-type plants like cactus, z z plants, and other drought-tolerant plants in this type of soil. Sandy soils can also be added to clay soils to help with better drainage.

Saline soil

Saline soil is brackish because of its high salt content. This type of soil can cause damage to plants and kill plant seeds due to the build-up of soluble salts in the rhizosphere.  Excessive salt contents prevent water uptake by plants leading to drought stress. Signs that you have this type of soil are white layers coating the surface of the soil, additionally, your plants are weak and leggy and they are suffering from leaf tip burn mostly in the younger leaves or new growth.

Silt soil

Silt soil has much smaller particles so that when you rub your finger over it, it feels smooth. This soil type holds water but when it comes to nutrients it cannot absorb it completely because of its structure. This soil compacts very easily because of continued foot traffic.

Clay soil

The soil particles of clay soil are so small and the spaces between them are so close that this soil type can retain or hold a lot of water, becoming gummy when it is moist.

When it is very dry it has a smooth texture. Clay soil drains poorly because of the size of its particles. Air circulation is poor also with this soil type. Clay soil can be very hard to work with when it is dry, especially during periods of hot weather, this soil can compact easily.

Peat Soil

Peat soil has a black brownish color and does not hold water very well. The key is not to let the soil dry out completely because once it does, it is hard for this soil to retain water again. The upside of this soil type is that during hot summer months this soil as long as it is kept moist can hold or retain water very long for plant uptake.

Loam Soil

Loam soil is the ideal soil for anyone who desires to have a garden where everything is growing well and healthy. Loam contains humus or organic matter, silt, sand, and clay.

It has a good ph content along with calcium. Loam is dry and dark in color, forms a ball in your hand when you add pressure to it but crumbles when you release it and touch it. If you don’t have this type of soil, one of the things you can do is add organic matter to your existing soil i.e. dry leaves, grass clippings, mulch, etc.

Adding organic material to soils can also adjust the soil ph naturally without adding chemicals.

Garden soil Nature’s gold

Soil test

To know what soil type you have, you can always take samples from different areas of your garden and get them tested in a lab or you can do a simple home test.

Fill a small jar with soil samples from your garden.

Fill the jar with water, shake the jar vigorously, and let this mixture sit overnight.

The day after you’ll see soil layers.

Clay at the top, Silt in between, and Sand at the bottom.

Their positions will give you an idea of your soil type.

So remember nature’s gold makes it possible for us to grow all those wonderful fruits, herbs ornamental plants, and veggies.

Happy gardening


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

4 thoughts on “Garden Soil Nature’s Gold”

  1. Hi, I’ve never ever thought about reading up on soil, I must say though you’ve done a great job describing different soils. I guess I’ve never thought about different soils because I’ve grown up with red soil. It’s everywhere where I live and it’s horrible. Forget about having a carpet, we have to have wooden floors lol. I notice you don’t discuss red soil or is it called something else? May be it’s the clay type because it’s so clumpy when wet yet dead dry when there’s no water.

    • Hello my dear lady hope you are having a good day. Thanks for your very kind remarks. I am sorry to hear of that red soil that you and I guess so many have to put up with. And yes you described the soil well sounds like you have clay soils. Even with clay soil you can work it so it can be of use to you. If you have not as yet you can add compost to your soil this will work wonders. Again thanks for the follow and if you ever need any help just give me a shout. Have a good day.

  2. Your article is very informative. I love that you tell all the different kinds of soil. I have clay soil so I added sand to it and some leaves and grass cuttings. I made my husband quit mowing so much and then raked it up. I burned some and spread it all over the garden area. My plants did great. I love the soil testing idea you gave and can not wait to try it out 🙂

    • Good morning Tammy hope all is well, thanks for the follow and for those kind words. You seem to have a green thumb when it comes to gardening or to be more clear your very knowledgeable when it comes to gardening and that’s a goods a thing, wishing you continual success on your gardening project, Have a good day.


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