Even though there are a wide variety of plants to choose from when creating your garden or enhancing your landscape, you should know which type of soil you have before buying plants because many can only survive in certain soil conditions.
Types of Soil
Most soil falls under three categories: clay, loam, and sand. If you have loamy soil, then you can choose practically any plant you want and it will thrive because this is the best type of soil to have. Because most people do not have loamy soil, they must understand how to work with the soil they have. This includes buying fertilizer, lime for clay based soil, and not watering the soil as often so nutrients will always be present for plants to grow.
You can determine the type of soil you have by obtaining a sample and sending it to a lab to analyzed, or you can test the soil yourself using less sophisticated methods:
• Clay soil will form a perfect ball when you mold it
• Sandy soil will fall apart when you try to mold it into a ball
• Loamy soil will form a shape, but will fall apart when you apply a little pressure
Once you know which type of soil you have, you should begin researching which plants will thrive and which ones will not.
Plants and Soil
For clay soil, you will have to add compost, mulch, or other type of top coat that keeps moisture close to the ground. Clay soil can become very dry and is not the best for feeding plants. Common plants found in clay based soil include:
• Prairie Cord Grass
• Indian Grass
You will need to be patient with your plants and check on them daily to see if they are getting the nutrients they need.
If you have sandy soil, you will not be able to water it as often as the nutrients will be washed away. This can cause problems for plants that need more water than others. Choosing plants that require less water is the answer. Plants include:
• English ivy
• Virginia Creeper Vines
• Flowering Jasmine
• Bayberry Shrubs
You may not need to water these plants at all because the rainwater that falls should be enough.
If you have loamy soil, you can plant anything you want because the soil is rich with nutrients. Choose plants that are complementary and add color and excitement to your lawn or garden.