Soil types

Knowing whether your soil type is clay, sand, silt, loam, peat or chalk will help you choose the right plants for your garden and maintain them in good health. 

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Close up of clay soil pit.

Quick facts

Clay soils are heavy, high in nutrients, wet and cold in winter and baked dry in summer
Sandy soils are light, dry, warm, low in nutrients and often acidic
Silt soils are fertile, light but moisture-retentive, and easily compacted
Loams are mixtures of clay, sand and silt that avoid the extremes of each type
Peat soils are very high in organic matter and moisture
Chalky soils are very alkaline and may be light or heavy

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