Not all dirt is the same.

In Calgary, and around the world, home inspectors have seen various types of soil. Whether you use store bought soil or the soil in your own yard it is important to know what kinds of soil you are using and if it will work for your plant types.

There are 5 types of soil which will be covered here. There is sandy soil, silty soil, clay soil, peaty soil, and saline soil. There are also soil orders which prominent in various areas. So before you plant make sure you do your research.

Sandy soil is dry and gritty, and has the largest particles of all the soil types. It is because of how large the particles are the soil cannot hold onto water. It also warms more quickly in the spring. To determine if you have this soil type wet the soil and try to roll it in your hands. If no ball forms then you have sandy soil.

Silty soil is smooth and when tested leaves dirt on your skin. This soil type holds water longer, and doesn’t drain properly. It also compacts easily which makes it badly aerated as well.

Photo by Fishermansdaughter.

Clay soil is sticky when wet and smooth when dry. This soil is also poorly aerated and slow to drain. Clay soil does provide great plant food, and tends to provide better growth as a result. If when tested it forms a ball like shape you have clay soil.

Peaty soil has a high water concentration. However, if drained correctly it can be great for growing plants. It holds water very well during the dry times and protects plant roots during the wet months. When tested peaty soil will not form a ball, and it feels spongy.

Saline soil is usually found in dry regions. It has high salt content and can damage plants or impede their growth. Saline soil can usually be identified by a white layer on the surface of the soil.

Whether you are in Calgary or somewhere else be sure to do your research. Home inspectors have seen it all, and know that proper research brings about better results.

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