Gardening Tips for Sand and Clay

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Your soil is most likely a mixture of sand, silt and clay, with one predominating. Sand has the largest particles, silt is in the middle, and clay particles are the smallest.

To find out what you've got, squeeze a handful of slightly damp soil. If it just falls apart, you likely have sandy soil. If it forms a hard, smooth ball, you're at the other end of the spectrum with clay soil.

If your soil resembles crumbly chocolate cake and is easy to dig, you've won the gardener's equivalent of the lottery: loam soil, which is about 20 per cent clay, 40 per cent sand and 40 per cent silt.
The best garden soil for most plants

Garden soil

Most plants thrive in loamy soil that's moist but well drained - a seeming contradiction that simply means soil that retains moisture, but doesn't stay too wet.

Garden soils that are very sandy let water to percolate through quickly and dry out fast, which leaches plant nutrients out quickly too.

Clay soils are rich in mineral-based elements and nutrients that plants need, but they have the opposite problem: they easily become waterlogged, as vital air pores fill with water. This can kill off soil organisms and injure or destroy plant roots.

If you have clay:

* Avoid working soil or walking on planting beds while wet; this causes soil compaction
* Dig in soil amendments, or leave them on top, rather tilling them in, as this can pulverize soil into too fine a texture
* Mulch between plants with leaf mold or shredded bark to keep soil from forming a crust

If you have sand:

* Add plenty of organic matter (compost, leaf mold, composted manure, moistened peat moss) to help retain more moisture and add plant nutrients
* Mulch bare soil to retain moisture

Gardening Articles:

Author: George Walker
George is an avid blogger and has written many articles over the years online. If your looking for an Adjustable Air Bed then visit

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