Good soil is the foundation of any garden. Investing in and caring for your soil properly is one of the best things you can do for the overall health of your plants.
There are three primary types of soil:
- Clay Soil – Clay soil is made up small particles that stick together to form large clumps. Because of its heavy texture, it is hard for plant roots to establish themselves.
- Sandy Soil – While it is easier to work with than clay soil, sandy soil has its own challenges. Typically, sandy soil drains too quickly and does not retain nutrients well.
- Loam Soil – Crumbly and full of organic matter, loam soil is a gardener’s ideal. It simultaneously retains moisture and drains well.
And in order to gauge the health and vitality of that soil, there are three primary measures that determine the quality of soil:
- Texture – Good soil has a crumbly texture. You may even hear expert gardeners discussing the “crumb” of their soil.
- Organic Matter – Organic matter is just a fancy word for dead plant and animal tissue. When the organic matter decomposes it supplies your soil with additional nutrients. It also helps improve the soil’s texture and ability to both absorb water and properly drain water.
- Healthy pH – pH is the level of acidity in your soil. For most plants and flowers, the more neutral the pH levels the better. The closer to neutral, the better your plant’s ability to absorb nutrients and minerals.