Wednesday, February 21, 2018

27 Oct

Why Test Your Soil?

It’s extremely important to know what type of soil you have before buying plants for your garden.

There are six possible soil types…

Chalky Soil

  • Usually found in South East of England.
  • Brilliant drainage because of the chalky particles.
  • Alkaline soil may cause issues as it restricts planting.

Clay Soil

  • Full of nutrients to benefit your plants.
  • Can become dry in summer and waterlogged in winter.

Silty Soil

  • Originally found on the banks of rivers.
  • Silty soil can be badly drained but aren’t prone to water logging.

Peaty Soil

  • Eastern England can be very peaty and are some of the countries best farmland.
  • This soil is acidic, so most plants will thrive.
  • Peaty soil can be soaking in winter and dry most of the summer.

Sandy Soil

  • Usually feels quite gritty and is easily dug over.
  • It’s quite quick to warm up so planting can be done in the spring.

Loamy Soil

  • Seen as the ultimate garden soil because most plants will grow in it.
  • Loamy soil is light and easy to dig and is naturally high in nutrients.

What to do…

You can check the pH of your soil using a simple kit available at most garden centres. The solution turns yellow-orange for acid soil, green for neutral and dark green for alkaline. Most plants prefer a pH of 6.5 to 7 – the point where nutrients are most easily available.

There are some plants however that prefer alkaline soils. You will also find that plants like hydrangeas will change colour due to the amount of alkaline or acid in soil.


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