Types of Soil in Arizona

Arizona is a desert, a dry, arid place with poor soil and specialized desert plants such as cactus. When gardening in Arizona, it is important to be mindful of the soil type because certain soils are very poor draining and cannot hold nutrients well. For the greatest success with gardening in Arizona, always consult your county extension office when planting non-native plants.


Sand is a type of soil in Arizona that is excellent at draining. Its course texture provides for quick absorption of rain and flood water ensuring that the water will not stand for long periods of time. Sand is also low in nutrients essential for most non-native plants. If gardening in an area with sandy soil, consider supplementing with mulch or peat moss to give the plants a source of nutrients.


Silt is a soil type that is extremely rich in nutrients. Silt exists in areas where rivers used to flow but have since dried up. Silt is a very fine soil, that can be poor draining and cause standing water. In most cases, however, silt soil is found mixed in with sand, causing an ideal blend for gardening.


Clay is a rock hard, nutrient-absent soil that is very common in urban areas. Clay does not drain well when it has dried out for long periods of time and must be softened with consistent watering. Clay is an excellent soil for ground cover such as turf because it provides solid ground for the plant's roots.

Keywords: Arizona soils, desert soils, soil types in Arizona

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Steven White is a privately contracted software engineer, web developer, and tech support representative. He has 3 years of experience providing technical support for AT&T broadband customers. He is currently a Master's of Software Engineering student and enjoys sharing his knowledge and expertise with others.