Gardening Guides

Hints & Tips from Hortlands

A GUIDE TO SOIL TYPES

In our opinion it is far better to have a garden full of plants that will establish and thrive to their full potential rather than a group of plants that simply survive and give an average show.

Identifying and understanding your soil type will help you to find the best plants for your garden.

CLAY SOILS
  • High in nutrients
  • Heavy, wet and cold during the winter months
  • Hard and dry during the summer
  • Hold water and drain slowly
  • Easily compacted and can suffer drainage problems
SANDY SOILS
  • Low in nutrients
  • Light, dry and warm
  • Often very acidic
  • Dries out quickly and requires a lot of watering
CHALKY OR LIME-RICH SOILS
  • Can be light or heavy
  • May contain lumps of chalk or limestone
  • Often very alkaline
  • Contain calcium carbonate or lime
SILT SOILS
  • Fertile
  • Light and retain moisture
  • Easily compacted
  • Well drained
LOAMS
  • Mixtures of clay, sand and silt soils that avoid the extremes of each type
  • Fertile
  • Well drained
  • Easily worked
PEAT SOILS
  • High in organic matter
  • Holds moisture
  • Very fertile