Does Your Soil Need a Doctor?


Photo by Pixabay/Khemanun Rugyooprasert 

Most seasoned gardeners know that the secret to healthy, productive gardens is really no secret at all. It’s in the dirt, literally. Plants need moisture and sunlight to grow and, in the right amounts, they will flourish, but only if you start with good soil.

Like us, plants need food, in their case it is in the form of nutrients. Good soil provides these nutrients and also allows plants to take them up.

However, before knowing if your soil is healthy or not, you need to decide what type of soil you have. There are three main types, sandy, silty and clay. The particles that make up the soil are what are used to categorize each type by size. Sandy soil has the largest particles, clay the smallest and silty fits in the middle.

The combination of these three is what gives soil its texture. Sandy soil is easy to cultivate, drains more easily but requires more water since it doesn’t retain it. Silty soil has good water retention and circulation and is good for growing crops. Clay soil is easily compacted, is difficult to plant or even shovel because it clumps. Although it is hard to work with, it is able to hold roots better and has a more stable environment than the other two.

DIY Soil Testing

There is an easy DIY test to evaluate what type of soil you have. Dig down about six inches where you want to test. Fill a Mason jar about half full of the soil and then fill it to the shoulder with water. Set it aside to let the soil soak up the water.

5/20/2020 8:22:49 AM

Thank you for the practical tips! Especially helpful your comments re: blood meal, bone meal, potash!

Live The Good Life with GRIT!

Grit JulAug 2016At GRIT, we have a tradition of respecting the land that sustains rural America. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing to GRIT through our automatic renewal savings plan. By paying now with a credit card, you save an additional $6 and get 6 issues of GRIT for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of GRIT for just $22.95!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters