Trying to change the soil is usually an uphill struggle and quite expensive. They also tend to be highly erodible when on slopes. Vertisols are located in areas where the underlying parent materials allow for the formation of expansive clay minerals. These acids dissolve iron, aluminum, and organic matter in the topsoil and ashy gray horizons. Provided they are not too acid and have effective subdrainage, these are probably the best natural soils available. Sand particles do not bind minerals easily and are often nutrient-poor. The letter “r” stands for relict, which documents that original conditions and influences are no longer dominant. Histosols are mainly composed of organic material in their upper portion. Soil testing, available through county extension services and many local gardening centers, provides the most efficient determination of soil types. In the high of summer and during periods of drought, excessive watering is needed. They are highly fertile and rich in chemical “bases” such as calcium and magnesium. Loam soils are balanced soils with a proportion of sand, silt, clay (40-40-20). The letter “a” stands for “alluvial dynamics,” which indicates that the stratum is subject to flooding. Determining your Soil Type. Vertisols are located in areas where the underlying parent materials allow for the formation of expansive clay minerals. To find your state/territory soil, visit,, US Consortium of Soil Science Associations. If you find that you do not possess this soil type, don’t lose hope! You could hire a professional to sample your soil but for most home gardeners it is enough to identify one’s own soil by the following two methods. Histosols can be highly productive farmland when drained; however, draining these soils can cause them to decompose rapidly and subside dramatically. For the incurably intrepid, details are given later in the Golden Rules for Difficult Soils section. Avoid compacting it by tilling, walking on it, or working the soil when it is wet (after rain or in early spring). Spodosols most often develop in coarsely textured soils (sands and loamy sands) under coniferous vegetation in humid regions of the world. Miracle-Gro Garden Soil All Purpose for In-Ground Use, 2 cu. Compost is easily made and you can create it yourself from tea bags, old leaves, and vegetable peelings. Semi-subhydric and subhydric soils are temporarily or permanently flooded; a well known representative of this soil type is mudflat soil. are soils that have formed in humid areas and are intensely weathered. There are many types of soils (sand, clay, silt, peat, chalk and loam), and each soil has different characteristics. Buckwheat grows well in many climates and works fairly easily. The best additions are fibrous organic amendments such as peat, straw, and composted mulches.3 Never add sand to clay soils as this can create a soil similar to concrete. You can find out all you need to know by simply working the soil you wish to grow in and information on local area soil types are easily available on the internet or your local library. They typically contain a subsoil horizon that has an appreciable amount of translocated clay, and are relatively acidic. Clay soils are best suited for perennial plantings where interaction with the soil is limited. These differences are reflected very well in the rock formations in Germany, as shown in the map of parent rock material (BAG 5000). This site uses Akismet to reduce spam.

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