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What Type of Soil is This?

Finally, this year I'm doing my garden. We have been for the last 3 years refurbishing the house. Now is time for the garden.

I would like to create borders along the fence and plant many little vertical fruit trees. In the centre will be grass.

I'm trying to figure out what type of soil I have. I collected soil samples from different areas around the garden, removed pebbled and add the mix in a jar with a bit of washing liquid. 1 hour after shaking it, I'm unable to read the results. 

Could you please help me to understand what type of soil I currently have?

Thank you :-)




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Posts

  • This method requires a settlement period of a few days I believe. Not sure how accurate it is.

    But potentially very sandy by the initial results.
  • Greenbird said:
    This method requires a settlement period of a few days I believe. Not sure how accurate it is.

    But potentially very sandy by the initial results.
    First I thought it had very high clay content. When it rains the water stays on the surface for a few days.  Now with the initial result, I'm doubting this.

    How could I have bad drainage in sandy soil?
  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 2,949
    Try this, for a general indication: 

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • Either a pan beneath the surface (where clay/iron particles have washed through the sand and settled over years) or sand can form a surface cap in wet conditions if there's enough clay present.

    Leave the jar to settle a few days and then review. I've never tried one of these jars personally.
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 6,280
    You can get some idea by looking at which plants thrive in neighbouring gardens and locally.

    If you're in England you can tap your postcode into this DEFRA supported site which will give you general info
    http://www.landis.org.uk/soilscapes/

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • I'm in Scotland. I have tried one of these maps and unfortunately, my area doesn't have the soil type.

     have watched many of the videos in youtube and still not clear what type of soil I have in the garden and how to improve it.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,699
    If you take a handful of soil, and squeeze it, does it form a tight ball and stay formed?

    If you dig a 50x50 cm hole in the garden and fill it with water, what happens to the water? Does it drain away? How fast?
  • Fire said:
    If you take a handful of soil, and squeeze it, does it form a tight ball and stay formed?

    If you dig a 50x50 cm hole in the garden and fill it with water, what happens to the water? Does it drain away? How fast?

    I dug a 20x20x30deep hole. I filled it with water. (4l) It took 2.5hours to drain.

    After the few storms in the past weeks, the soil is very wet. I expect that in normal conditions it would drain faster.

    Is 2.5hours good or bad?
  • Allotment BoyAllotment Boy North London Posts: 3,208
    As @Fire has said does it form a tight ball if you squeeze it, does it feel silky between you fingers -clay or silt. Does it feel gritty - sandy . If it forms a ball can you then roll it into a sausage if so can you then curl both ends to meet each other . If you get to this last stage then it is more clay if it breaks up at the earlier steps it has more sand / grit. Go to RHS for fuller explanation. https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?pid=179 
    AB Still learning

  • FireFire LondonPosts: 7,699

    More on percolation test here. I would say you have loose, free-draining (sandy) soil, at least in the area that you tested; If it's been very wet where you are and the hole drained completed in under three hours. Does it feel gritty to the touch?

    Maybe try and find some gardening neighbours and ask them how things are - although gardens can change even a few doors away.

    If it is very sandy, add organic matter to make it drain less fast, but good to plant things that like sandy soil. Plant what is happy in your soil rather than battling for years to make it otherwise.

    I'm sure other forum peeps will have other ideas. I hope that helps.

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