When planning an outdoor garden, it is important to find the right soil for your plants. A soil’s moisture retention, nutrient richness, and weight can all determine its suitability for different plants.
Planning out a new garden is an exciting yet daunting prospect, particularly if you are unsure which type of soil you should use for your various plants. Thankfully, there are a few simple considerations that can set you on your way to picking the ideal kind of soil for your plants. Three of the most important considerations when selecting soils are the moisture retention capacity, nutrient richness and weight.
Research the needs of the plants you plan to include in your garden in order to determine the level of moisture retention you will need in your soil. Depending on the composition of the soil, moisture will drain through it at various rates. Some plants, particularly those native to more arid and dry climates, do best in sandy soils, as these drain relatively quickly. On the other hand, some plants require a great deal of water to thrive, and thus will grow better when provided with soil that retains water more effectively.
Secondly, remember the different degrees of nutrient richness available in soils. Because each kind of soil is composed of a different mixture of clay, loam, silt and sand, each will be able to offer different nutrients. Soils that have been supplemented with specific fertilizers can be particularly rich in nutrients, but be sure to check on the needs of your plants. There is such thing as superfluous or even detrimental nutrients, so it is worthwhile to find a soil that will effectively nourish your plants by meeting their particular nutrient needs.
Finally, soil weight is an important indicator of its usefulness for different plants. For example, plants that are placed in heavily shaded areas of the garden often do better with lighter, airy soil than heavier soils. This is largely due to the fact that light soils tend to drain fairly quickly, which is generally better for plants that are not getting dried out by sunlight. Rather than having their roots overly exposed to moisture in soil that is rarely dried by the sun, these plants can get the water they need without being over-watered.
Choosing the ideal soil for the various parts of your plot is an important step towards creating your garden. Be sure to remember the three variable features of soils that can help determine which is right for each plant: moisture retention, nutrient richness and weight. Once you have determined the best soil for your outdoor plants, you can begin planting and enjoying them.
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