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Learning About Soil Types

Growing Your Garden, Learning About Soil Types, September 2, 2021
Posted at 5:15 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 13:40:40-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — You may think that dirt is just dirt, but the soil in your yard has many different characteristics that can affect the success of your garden. Things like pH balance and nutrients levels play big roles, but just the components of the soil can have a big impact too.

Broadly speaking those can be broken down into three categories: sand, silt clay, and organic material.

Soils with high content of either clay or sand are common. Each of these components comes with its own set of pros and cons.

"The nice thing about clay is it will retain water, so we can make more of our water, but we still need drainage. If we don't have proper drainage water locks at the roots, it doesn't allow the roots to breathe in the way they need to, it can create fungus or rot," says David Herrmann, general manager of Gardener's Supply, inc.

"Contrastingly when you have a sandy soil water drains too fast. So we want to make more of our water, we want to hold on to it. Having organic material, having some clay and silt in the soil helps with that retention," says Herrmann.

Ideally, you should aim to have a balance of these three components to create a good growing environment.

Adding components your soil lacks can help improve your growing success.

"So it's really a one-third, one-third, one-third that we like to see in the profile. That's how we'll blend our soil here, and that's how we'll try to create or amend people's soil in there yard," Herrmann says.