Identify the type of soil in your garden

Identify the type of soil in your garden

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When one wishes to develop a massif, the question invariably arises of recognize the type of soil in your gardenin order to choose the plants that will please them the best.

Follow our step-by-step guide and, soon, the elements that make up your earth will have no secrets for you.

What are the different types of soil?

There are 5 main types of soil:


Brown or ocher-brown, this type of floor shapes easily and sticks to fingers when wet. Fertile, the clay soil is however compactand difficult to work : We are talking about heavy earth.


Grayish, yellow or whitish in color, it crumbles in the hand and the grains flow between the fingers. The sandy soil retains neither water nor nutrients, it is quite poor. On the other hand, sandy soil is well aerated and conducive to root development.


Fairly friable earth, it is generally light in color. This type of soil, calcareous earth, is rather dryand not very fertile.

Humiferous (loam)

Frankly black, this soil contains a lot of organic matter resulting from plant decomposition. It's about a fertile land, but often too wet.

Free land

Considered the better land, it is made up on average of 50 to 60% sand, 20% clay, 5 to 10% silt and 5 to 10% organic matter.

How to recognize the type of soil in your garden?

To do this, there is a simple 4-step method.

Step 1: Take a soil sample

Dig 6 holes about 20 cm deep in different places in your garden and collect some soil. Then mix your samples well in a bucket.

Smart tip

items that are too large are not to be taken into account for the analysis. To evacuate them, use a 2 to 2.5 mm mesh sieve.

Step 2: Perform the test

  • Have a transparent jarwith a cover. Choose it tall and narrowpreferably.
  • Fill half the jar with your soil sample and top up with water, leaving a little air.
  • Close the jar and shake it vigorously for 3 minutes.
  • Wait 30 minutes and shake vigorously again for 3 minutes.
    Leave to rest for 24 hours. With the sedimentation process, the elements will be superimposed in strata: at the bottom the heaviest, and above the lightest.

Note : The water may still be cloudy after 24 hours. If so, you will have to wait until it is fully clarified.

Step 3: Analyze the result

After resting, you should observe different layers superimposed in your jar.

At the bottom are the sands ; in second position, there are the stringers ; the third layer contains theclayand, finally, everything that floats on the surface corresponds to the organic material.

Using a ruler, measure the thickness of each layer. That of the sands is easy to observe, since they are visible to the naked eye. The main difficulty will be to differentiate between silts and clay which are almost the same size. To help you, the clay layer should be a bit more compact than the silt, and it can also be a different color.

Once you have taken your measurements, all you have to do is do a few small calculations:

Step 4: Discover the texture of your soil

Now that you have the composition of your soil, it remains to interpret the results. To do this, just use a texture triangle.

To use it, it's quite simple:

  • Report the percentages previously obtained on each side of the triangle (clay on the left, silts on the right and sands on the bottom).
  • Then draw a line parallel to each of the axes through the measurements obtained. The intersection of the three lines gives you the texture of your floor.

You now know how to recognize the type of soil in your garden. You will now be able to plant the flowers most suited to your beds.

Video: 3 DIY Soil Tests You Can Do in Under 24 Hours (July 2022).


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