cross section of grass and soil against blue sky

Gardening is enjoyed throughout the world by many diverse kinds of people, all growing different plants, vegetables and flowers. Because of the varied nature of gardening, you’ll probably come into contact with various kinds of soil, even at exactly the exact same patch of earth! Knowing how to manage them, what types of plants will grow best in different varieties and how to take care of any problems is quite important – that is why I will tell you about every type today.

Types of soil

There are six major types of soil you will encounter as a gardener. Clay, sand, loam, chalk, peat and subsoil. These six types may also blend together to give you combinations, such as sandy peat or loam clay, but for the purposes of this guide, I will just go over the six chief types.


A clay soil is quite slick and smooth and will probably be found a few feet down from the surface of the soil. Clay has a habit of becoming very water logged and actually has to be emptied of water as frequently as possible. The wetter it is, the thicker and more like cement it will get, which makes it almost impossible for plants to grow through or in it.

The clay needs to be dug over throughout the Autumn period and made to be deteriorated by the winter frosts. It may also be blended with lime, which prevents it from being so thick and tacky. Also be careful during hotter months, as a clay soil will dry as hard as stone and might cause cracks to appear. Clay soil can be tough to work with and troublesome, but it also has a fantastic amount of food for plants inside.


Sandy soil is dry and contains smaller particles, occasionally making it lighter in colour. As a result of different feel, the soil warms up fast and therefore may be used to plant early crops and plants in early in the year.

A sandy soil is easy to work with, because of it being so nice, but is not too rich in plant foods since it can’t retain much moisture.


A loam soil is a combination of clay and sand. The sandy component is great at keeping the clay from being too sticky and tough as well as the clay enables the sand retain moisture. Therefore, some view this as a perfect mix. The combination of the two elements allows plants to grow readily through the soil since they’re not hampered by the depth of the clay. The clay component of the loam also supplies a fantastic quantity of rich plant food to get anything growing there.


A chalky soil can be a real problem for gardeners. The composition of this sort of soil can cause plants leaves to become yellow from a procedure called chlorosis. You might also have to add more nutrients to the ground to get the best out of your plants, though you will not have to bring any lime to this sort.


There are various sorts of peat, black and brown and they’re both made in the continuous decay and growth of vegetation over centuries. Peat soil is easy to work with, but it often quite wet or waterlogged and might have to be emptied often. Because of this decaying matter in Peat soil, it can get quite “sour” and plants and acidic such as celery or other acid loving plants will thrive in this sort of soil.


The top player of a garden is generally only about a foot thick and is ideal for planting and growing plants through. Below this is the layer called subsoil which may be as heavy as several feet or a number of meters. It all depends on what your garden is located on top of.

The subsoil helps remove moisture from the top most layer of dirt and for that reason can be ideal for maintaining ground not too moist. If you had a clay soil under sandy soil, it wouldn’t absorb the water and your backyard would eventually become a lake.


Having a fantastic construction of subsoil and then your preferred soil type on top will gain you as you’ll have the ability to control how moisture is trapped in your backyard. It’s possible to mix and match the soil types as you see fit and based on which plants you want to see flourish in your garden. For a beginner, I would suggest using regular subsoil with loam on top.