Did you know that there are many different kinds of soil? Soil could actually be engineered for specific purposes; there are companies that mix various kinds of materials to create specialized soil! Interested in knowing more? Well, let’s keep on digging then!
In general, there are 7 different soils that companies usually work with. If the grower is not working on a soilless garden, then most probably he or she is using a combination of the different kinds of soil. To start things off, here is a list of the kinds of different soils there is:
1. Clay Soil
Clay soils are composed of small particles with around 0.002mm. This actually makes the soil good for retaining water which would mean a slower draining process. Together with this, since the soil retains water well, it also holds nutrients better which is good for your plant as none of it is wasted. However, clay soils become difficult to manage when it dries out as it becomes very hard and compact.
2. Sand Soil
If clay soils are composed of small particles, the sand soil is the opposite; it is composed of the biggest particles. It has a coarse feel to it and it’s generally dry. This means that it’s terrible in retaining water and drains it rather quickly. If water is not retained and is drained quickly, this also means that nutrients are also drained quickly.
3. Silt Soil
Silt soil has smaller particles than sand soils. This makes them have a smooth texture and when it’s wet, it becomes slick and slippery. It can hold water pretty well but the same cannot be said with nutrients. It also drains water rather poorly and is bad when it comes to the air circulation especially when squished or made compact. With that said, however, silt soil is actually quite fertile which makes it good to grow some plants in.
4. Peat Soil
Peat soil has been around for countless years. It has a dark hue and is easily compressed because of its ability to retain water. Additionally, since peat soil has been around for quite some time, they are ranked high when it comes to organic matter content. Once drained, this particular type of soil is a great medium for growing plants. Since it retains water and nutrient well, this soil helps the plant fed for long periods of time especially if the season is dry. If the season is wet, however, the soil also protects the roots. Peat soil also has an acidic nature which protects itself from unwanted, hazardous things such as diseases.
5. Saline Soil
From the name itself, saline soil has high salt contents. This type of soil is usually found in dry areas. Since its high in salt, it’s not a good soil to grow plants in as the salt can damage the growing plant. Saline soil will usually have a white layer on top of them so make sure to take note of your soil!
6. Chalk Soil
Usually found in chalk deposits and beds of limestone, this type of soil is not recommended for growing a plant. It will be hard to work with because if its sticky when wet and dries really easily when heat is present. It also contains the high amount of lime which gives it a pH level of 7.5. This makes it an alkali kind of soil which will destroy plants that are not suitable.
7. Loamy Soil
Loamy soils are the best among the list when it comes to its capabilities. It’s a combination of silt, sand, clay, and humus. It has a balanced pH level of around 6 and it has high calcium content. It can retain water and nutrients really well. Air circulation wise, it’s really good as the air can traverse anywhere in between the particles up to the roots of the plant. These things easily make loamy soil the best for growers.
As stated above, there are companies that engineer the soil which is used for plants. Now that we know, in general, what soils are available, here is a list of some of the brands that growers use. Keep in mind that each soil best serves different strands of plants so it’s very difficult to pinpoint which one is the best.
Roots organics soil, from the name itself, is composed of many organic products. It’s made from Lignite (aka leonardite, mined lignin, slack, or brown coal), coca fiber, perlite, compost, pumice, bone meal,peat moss, bat guano, Green sand, kelp meal, soy bean meal, glacial rock dust, k-mag, alfalfa meal,earth worm castings, oyster shell flour, and Mycorrhizae. This product can be used as an additive to improve the soil that is already in your garden. This combination of organic materials gives it a good draining capability and enhances root structure formation.
FoxFarm’s Ocean Forest is actually one of the most recommended by growers everywhere. It has a blend of bat guano, earthworm castings, and sea-going fish and crab meal. It has a pH range of 6.3 to 6.8 which is quite ideal for plants to thrive in. This makes it amazing for fertilizer uptake. This type of soil best works with other nutrients to ensure a healthy growth.
Empire Builder Indoor-Outdoor Grower’s Mix is made from coco coir, sphagnum peat moss, composted forest product, worm castings, coco chips, pumice, lava rock, gypsum, perlite, langbeinite, sea bird and bat guano, feather meal, fish bonemeal, bonemeal, limestone, alfalfa meal, greensand, kelp meal, azomite, glacial rock dust, rice bran, and soybean meal. It has a balanced pH of around 6.5 and has a good grasp on water. This product also has a good aeration level that plants could thrive in.
Harvest Moon’s soil is made from Alaskan peat moss, washed coco fibers, perlite, yucca, pumice, worm castings, diatoms, fishmeal, feather meal, limestone, kelp meal, soybean meal,gypsum, alfalfa meal, yucca meal,rock dust, and Mycorrhizae fungi. If you’re growing your plant just for medical purposes and you’re new to the whole growing the, the people behind Harvest Moon claims that you can just easily add water and your plants should do fine.
It’s important to note though that some users claim that mixing these products will do better for the growth of the plant rather than just using one by itself. In general, there isn’t a correct answer in answering which is best, so you really have to try them for yourself and decide on your own which is best for your plants. Get creative!