As a gardener, it’s important to really understand the different types of soil that exist so you know which plants will thrive in your garden and which may well struggle to flourish.
The best way to tell which type of soil you have is to take a look at it and run it through your fingers, taking note of how it feels. The main types of soil are silty, peaty, sandy, loamy, clay and chalky, so do some research into each to find out which plants work best in which type.
You also need to know the pH of the soil, as this can help to get the best from your garden crops and plants. Soil with a neutral to slightly acidic pH is ideal for growing fruit and vegetables.
You can get a testing kit to help you work it out, but you can also get an idea of the pH level by seeing which plants flourish. Rhododendrons do well in acidic soil, for example.
If you find you have chalky soil, invest in plants like lily of the valley and ornamental clovers, or perhaps some phacelia (also a brilliant pollinator so you’ll get lots of lovely insects buzzing around).
Those of you with clay soil, meanwhile, will find that roses do incredibly well in the garden, as will foxgloves and hydrangeas.
Loam (a mix of clay, silt and sand) is often considered to be the best kind of soil going, as it’s not prone to waterlogging, has all the necessary nutrients to help your plants grow and isn’t too free draining.
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