Soils

There are various standards of soil type classification. Below, we have used one that is less scientific but for some of us maybe more understandable. (Source: www.rhs.org.uk)

clayClay

Clay soils have over 25 percent clay. Also known as heavy soils, these are potentially fertile as they hold nutrients bound to the clay minerals in the soil. But they also hold a high proportion of water due to the capillary attraction of the tiny spaces between the numerous clay particles. They drain slowly and take longer to warm up in spring than sandy soils. Clay soils are easily compacted when trodden on while wet and they bake hard in summer, often cracking noticeably. These soils often test the gardener to the limits, but when managed properly with cultivation and plant choice, can be very rewarding to work with.

loamLoam

Loams are comprised of a mixture of clay, sand and silt that avoid the extremes of clay or sandy soils and are fertile, well-drained and easily worked. They can be clay-loam or sandy-loam depending on their predominant composition and cultivation characteristics

sandySand

Sandy soils have high proportion of sand and little clay. Also known as light soils, these soils drain quickly after rain or watering, are easy to cultivate and work. They warm up more quickly in spring than clay soils. But on the downside, they dry out quickly and are low in plant nutrients, which are quickly washed out by rain. Sandy soils are often very acidic

peatPeat

Peat soils are mainly organic matter and are usually very fertile and hold much moisture. They are seldom found in gardens

siltSilt

Silt soils, comprised mainly of intermediate sized particles, are fertile, fairly well drained and hold more moisture than sandy soils, but are easily compacted.

chalkChalk

Chalky or lime-rich soils may be light or heavy but are largely made up of calcium carbonate and are very alkaline