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What are the Best Types of Soil for Planting?
There are different types of soil, each of which has different effects on the plants that grow from them. Soil is the outer level of ground forming the “skin” of the Earth. Lot’s of things are part of the soil, including hardened stones, dead organic matter like the remains of vegetables and creatures that once roamed the Earth. It is almost like the ocean, in that there is a whole world of dead beings residing beneath the surface. What you see today, however, did not arise overnight; soil is the work of years and years of natural forces like erosion. When we create a taxonomy of soils, what we actually classify is the various contents of the most superficial layer of the earth.
Geologists recognize six basic types of soil in this taxonomy:
Fine-Grained Soil: Fine-grained soil has the smallest hard “rocks” and they cling together. Typically, fine-grained soil is clay. Because it is so tightly packed, it doesn’t allow pockets of air to form while at the same time trapping high levels of moisture. All this moisture contributes to root rot in plants. Farmers and gardeners hate this soil because it requires so much extra labor.
Of the types of soil, this one has the largest constituents, being largely made up of tiny rocks. The typical kind of soil that fits into this category is sand. Granular soil allows the greatest amount of air and water to pass through it. Nature creates granular soil by breaking up rock formations such as granite, limestone, quartz, and shale.
Granular soil works best for cultivation when it has natural nutrients embedded in it, but even when this is the case, granular soil’s inability to retain water during warm weather makes it difficult for flora to grow from it. If you try to grow a plant in granular soil, be sure to boost the amount of your watering to keep your plant from dehydrating. A side benefit of granular soil is that it forms a natural immunization against root rot since it will not allow water to rest next to the roots.
Rich silt soil is like the golden mean between fine-grained and granular soil. It often contains Quartz and other organic matter. It is somewhat sandy but with more nutrients than granular soil. It holds more water than granular soil, making it is also better to work with for farmers. ( click next for preview next page)