If you love gardening and planting various kinds of plants in your lawn or garden, you absolutely must know about the types of soil that are best for your plants. In this article, we shall be discussing why it is important to choose the right soil, how you can choose it, and we shall also be discussing the various kinds of soil!
Importance of Soil for Plant Growth
Soil is the foundation on which various plants such as shrubs, grass, vegetables, fruits, trees, etc. grow. Soil not only holds the plants firmly on the ground, but also provides all the essential nutrients to the plants to grow and thrive. The health of the plant is directly related to the quality of the soil. Therefore, it is crucial and important to choose the right kind of soil for the plants that you wish to grow.
How to Choose the Best Soil for Your Plants?
Here are some ways in which you choose the best soil for your plants:
1. According to the Plant
The kind of soil you pick for your plant should be in accordance with the plant you wish to grow. For example, if you are planning on planting a vegetable garden then it is important that the soil you choose is moist and loose, which will provide the flexibility to the roots to expand and grow and get maximum nutrients from the soil.
2. According To Quality
Make sure you pay heed to the quality of the soil. The soil with too much clay or sand may not be ideal for the plants to grow. It just has to the ideal mix of soils for the plants to grow optimally. Make sure you identify the soil in your garden and then make alterations according to the type of plants you wish to grow.
3. According To The Place Of Planting
The type of soil you choose for your plants will also depend on where you plan to grow the plants. For example, big potted plants in your patio or large pots require more nutrient-rich soil than the plants that are planted in your lawn. The potting soil contains special components that prevent under-watering or over-watering in the plants. Make sure you invest in good quality soil as sometimes the cheaper options may not be able to provide ample nutrients to the soil.
4. Preparing The Soil
Once you have narrowed down on the soil according to the plant requirements, another important step in the process is to prepare the soil. It is important to determine the kind of soil that is available with you so that you can make required changes in it by adding organic material and other additives to make it ideal for growing various kinds of plants.
Types of Soil that You Must Select for Different Plant Requirements
Following are various kinds of soil that you should select as your plant requirements:
1. Sandy Soil
This kind of soil requires mulching for holding moisture in it and requires various kinds of organic blends to make it ideal for growing plants.
- This kind of soil usually gets washed away during heavy rains.
- Often carry fewer nutrients for the plants because it warms up faster.
- It is easier to cultivate this soil and it drains and dries out fast.
Vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, lettuce, zucchini, etc, blubs and shrubs such as Sun roses, Tulips, Hibiscus, etc. Grow well in this soil.
2. Clay Soil
This kind of soil is loaded with nutrients and if the drainage is taken care of, this soil can offer optimum benefits to the plants to grow.
- It is heavier to cultivate and gets warmed up slowly during the spring season.
- This soil is poor at water-drainage and allows fewer air spaces.
- This soil is hard and rocky when dry and gets sticky and lumpy when it is wet.
Ornamental plants and fruit trees usually grow well on this soil. Shrubs and perennials such as Aster, Helen’s flower, Flowering quince, etc thrive on this soil.
3. Peaty Soil
This soil is acidic in nature and thus when it is combined with organic matter, lime and compost; it offers umpteen benefits for the plants to grow.
- High amounts of peat lend spongy and damp qualities to this dark soil.
- This soil offers fewer nutrients because the acidic nature of the soil slows the decomposition process.
- This soil heats up easily and can retain water.
Vegetable plants such as legumes, salad crops, root crops, etc, shrubs such as Witch hazel, Lantern trees, Heather, etc.
4. Silty Soil
Organic matter is added to this soil to make it more fertile and for improving the drainage capacity of the soil.
- This offers great benefits to the plants if the drainage system is channelized properly.
- This soil is comparatively easier to cultivate.
- It tends to hold moisture and has a soapy and soft texture to it.
Almost all kinds of fruits and vegetable crops can thrive on this soil is the drainage is proper. Grasses, perennials, climbers, shrubs, etc grow well on this soil.
5. Loamy Soil
This soil is acidic in nature and thus requires regular mixing with organic matter. However, this soil is the best soil for potted plants or garden plants.
- This soil is a mix of silt, clay, and sand.
- This soil can be easily cultivated and warms up easily but does not become too dry during summer months. This is an ideal soil for outdoor plants.
- It is damp and fine-textured soil.
Almost all kinds of berry crops and vegetable crops grow in this soil. Bamboos, climbers, perennials, tubers, and shrubs such as Dog’s tooth violets, Wisteria, Rubus, etc grow nicely in this soil.
6. Chalky Soil
In order to improve and enhance the workability of this soil, hummus is added.
- This kind of soil in stonier and grainier than other soils.
- This soil is usually found on a limestone or chalk bedrock.
- The alkaline nature of this soil may sometimes lead to yellowish leaves or stunted growth of the plants.
Vegetables such as cabbage, sweet corn, spinach, beets, etc, Blubs, trees, shrubs such as Pinks, Lilac, Mock oranges, Weigala, Madonna Lillie, etc.
How to Create Your Own Potting Soil?
If you wish to accentuate the indoor beauty of your house by placing some potted plants and thinking that you can use the garden soil to pot the plants, well that is not a great idea, to begin with. This is because garden soil is not ideal for potted plants. You can procure readymade potting soil from the market or you can opt for the other two options if you do not wish to procure soil or loam for growing plants. The first option is sterilizing the outside oil or creating your own soil mix. Well, if you wish to learn how to prepare the soil for planting various kinds of plants or learn to make the best garden mix, the following are some steps that you need to take.
1. Sterilization of the Outside Soil
If you plan to use outside soil for indoor plants for potted plants, it is important that you sterilize it first. This is because it will not only help in getting rid of weeds and insects but it also makes the soil bacteria-free. It is very easy to sterilize the soil as all you need is a cookie sheet and an oven. Just take a cookie sheet and spread the soil nicely on it, which needs to be sterilized. Bake the soil in an oven at 180 degrees for approximately half an hour.
2. Creating Own Soil Mix
You can also make your own soil mix and the first and foremost step in that would be to sterilize the soil by baking it. Once the soil gets sterilized, you will be required to amend its composition by adding sand and peat moss. This is going to help you to maintain the quality of the soil that you wish to use for the plants.
What You Will Need
Here are some ingredients that you will be required while making the best soil for flowers, soil for growing vegetables or for growing other kinds of potted plants:
- ½ cubic yard perlite
- ½ cubic yard peat moss
- 5 pounds limestone
- 5 pounds blood meal
- 10 pounds bone meal
- Take all the ingredients in a large container and give a thorough mix.
- Make sure you store the soil mix in an airtight container until it is required.
Gardening is a hobby that is not only therapeutic but also incredibly rewarding. We hope the above article helped you in understanding more about various kinds of soil for growing plants. Happy gardening!!