The Properties of Loam Soil

Loam soil consists of approximately equal amounts of silt, clay and sand, plus some organic matter. Loam soil tends to contain higher amounts of humus and nutrients compared with sandy soils. Loam soil is popular for gardening because it helps encourage the growth of plants that are healthy and strong.

Properties

Loam soil is known for being able to easily retain water, as well as for its moist and gritty texture. Some soils naturally have a loamy texture, while others require some amendment in order to have loamy traits.

Gardening

Loam soil is popular for gardening because of its capacity to retain a lot of moisture while enabling the water to still be able to freely move about. Loam soil also drains well, which allows sufficient amounts of air to travel to the roots of plants. Unlike sandy soil types, loam soil is efficient for nutrient retention, and it's much more fertile.

Identification

It is helpful to be able to know how to identify whether a specific soil is loam soil. The particles of clay, silt and sand that are contained within loam soil are evenly blended together. Unlike clay soils, loam soil is neither tenacious nor stiff. It has a high porosity, which permits high air circulation. Loam soil feels crumbly and rich and usually has a dark appearance.

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About this Author

Isabel Prontes is a freelance writer and traveler residing in Manhattan, NY. She has traveled to five continents and counting. Her work has appeared on a number of websites, such as Travels, eHow.com and "Happy Living Magazine." Prontes has a professional background in public relations; she received a bachelor's degree in communication studies from Pace University.