Sunlight and water are not the only two requirements gardeners take into consideration when sowing plant seeds or seedlings; the type of soil plays an important role as well. Different plants require different soil types to thrive and grow. It pays to know the type of soil in your garden or backyard so you can grow plants accordingly or amend the soil to your desired plants' requirements.
Silt soil is one of the most fertile soils in the world for growing plants, and with good reason. It is packed with essential nutrients and minerals that are required by plants, thus promoting plant health. It is commonly found in floodplains and makes excellent farm land. Silt is comprised of fine granules between the size of sand and clay that offer very good drainage, and it is easier to work with when moist.
Clay soil is excellent for planting hardwood plants such as sea holly, daylily and swamp sunflower. It is also idea for ornamental grasses such as Canadian wild rye, grassy-leaved sweet flag and big bluestem because they are native to harsh climates and conditions. This type of soil has tiny particles with little or no space between them that do not allow water or air to flow to a plant's roots. Till clay soil to loosen it up and add fertilizer prior to planting.
Loam is a type of soil that consists of sand, silt and clay soil, thus making it ideal for growing any type of plant. The ideal formula for loam soil is 20 percent clay, 40 percent sand and 40 percent silt. Loam also include humus (an organic mixture of decaying twigs, stems and leaves). Loam not only retains nutrients and water well but also allows water to flow to the root systems of plants. This lightweight and fluffy type of soil is present in farmlands throughout the world in its natural or modified form.
Amend your existing garden soil to create a rich medium for plant growth according to their requirements. The ideal soil amendment combination consists of 1/4 vermiculite, 1/4 peat moss, 3/8 sand, and 1/8 fertilizer. Combine in a large bucket before adding the mixtures to your container or flowerbed. Always research the soil requirements of your desired plant and add amendments to your soil in the required ratios.