Types Of Soil – Clay, Sandy, Silt, Chalky, Peat and Loamy Soil
Soil is an important natural resource along with air and water without which cultivation on earth is impossible. To make the most of your soil, you should know the different types of soil which could help you yield rich crops. Soils can be classified into two on the basis of texture and climatic conditions. Please read this article to know more about the soil types and their uses.
Click here to know how do you fix poor soil.
6 Main Soil types based on Texture
There are 6 major types of soil based on texture Clay, Sandy, Silt, chalk, peat, and loamy.
1. Clay soil
Clay soils are made of 25% clay. Being a heavy soil type with a wet and sticky texture, the water logging problem happens which leads to drying out soil in summer. The benefit of a high level of nutrients and minerals makes it suitable for cultivating certain crops when mended properly.
2. Sandy soil
Sandy soils are made of sand and little clay, naming them light soil. The sand is light and dry which makes it cultivable. Characteristics of good drainage give less nutrient soil. You need to add natural compost, manure, or grass before growing a crop.
3. Silt Soil
Silty soil is found near rivers, lakes, and water bodies. It contains rock and minerals and its texture is finer than sandy soil. This soil has a high fertility rate and is mostly used to increase soil fertility.
4. Chalky soil
Chalky soil is rich in alkaline minerals. The lime-rich soils are mostly made of calcium carbonate. The soil is Solid, soft and stone. Because of its alkaline nature, the soil has a very low water retention capacity. It is hard to keep chalk soil fertile.
5. Peat soil
Peat soil is made from decomposed organic materials such as plant residue. The decomposed materials are formed over many years. Peal soil is stored in a wetland ecosystem called peat land. Peats are used for horticulture compost.
6. Loamy soil
Loamy soil is a combination of 20% Clay, 40% sand, and 40% silt. Rich in nutrients and minerals make it is suitable for agriculture. Loamy soil contains decomposed organic matter which makes the soil fertile and farming friendly.
|Types of soil||Use|
|Silt soil||Growing crops (Tomato)|
|Chalk soil||For Lime tolerant plants|
12 Soil Types based on Climatic condition
Soil Science classifies soil scientifically based on climatic factors into 12 categories. Let us take a detailed look at it.
1. Aridisols or Desert soil
Desert soils are pale and light-shaded on the surface. Can be seen in the hot and cold desert areas worldwide. This soil can be best for Wildlife, Ranges, and desert areas. Due to a moisture deficit, it can cultivate only when irrigated and amended.
Formed from Volcanic material, especially around the volcanic ring of fire, it is fertile and very productive. Thriving at a cool temperature, it has a great water-holding capacity.
3. Histosols or Organic soil
Best used for Horticulture as it contains thick organic products such as Leaves, and grasses to increase the decay rate. Highly fertile when drained which causes a change in soil nature.
Grassland soils flourished in organic matters. Rich in Humus and the most productive soil on the earth. Mollisols are dark in colour because of the decompositions in them. They are mainly used for Grazing.
Tropical region soil is rich in iron and magnesium leading to low natural fertility. 8% of the earth’s land area is covered with Oxisols.
Developed in a humid region with sandy and loamy sand. Being acidic in nature gives a low fertility rate. Spodosols lack Humus and clay which leads to low water moisture.
Reddish in colour with the presence of aluminium oxide. Found in a Highly weathered forest area. With Great mending, ultisols can be made fertile.
Alfisols occupy about 13.9% of land in the U.S. Productivity depends on the climate and the temperature. Some of the best farmers have this type of soil to cultivate.
Vertisols are used to form earthenware as it is rich in clay. Highly fertile soil as the adaptation to climate. A limited number of plants can thrive in them.
Soils are found only in permafrost- permanent frost states in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Permafrost formed in 2mm of the surface. They are sensitive to humans, making them not cultivable.
Inceptisols are weakly formed soil and infertile. They are found in our washed area and young. They form Approximately 17% of the earth’s surface (glacier free).
Entisols are formed in rocky, steep areas or shores where the deposition of soil is faster. These are the second largest group of soil containing 16% of glacier-free earth soil.
|Types of soil||Uses|
|Aridisols||Salt resistant plants|
|Andisols||Cereal grains, vegetables, tea and sugarcane.|
|Histosols||Horticulture and fuel|
|Mollisols||Maize crop and soybean|
|Oxisols||Cocoa and rubber.|
|Spodosols||Berry and potato|
|Alfisols||Wine grape and wheat|
|Vertisols||Cotton and rice|
|Gelisols||Mosses and shrubs|
|Inceptisols||Guava and some plants|
Try this Quick test to find your soil type
Take pea-sized soil after removing heavy particles from it. Rub it on your finger. If oily and spread on your finger, clay soil. If it is grainy and floury, it is Sandy soil.
Still not sure, buy a soil test online and try it yourself or send the soil sample for the test to a nearby lab.
In Conclusion, all the soils are formed from different percentages of sand, clay, and silt soils. Every type of soil with proper fertilisers and mending makes it a little more productive. Soil when depleted cannot be replenished, so it is necessary to preserve it with good farming methods.
1. How do soils form?
Soil forms from solid rocks that take thousands of years to break down. Sometimes soil forms on sediments without breaking. Every type of soil is determined by its sediments and climate.
2. What are the factors that determine the usefulness of soil?
Fertility, Texture, Composition, and moisture retention.
3. What is humus in soil?
The organic matter that decayed and became stable is called humus. It is commonly confused with compost which is active decompose.
4. What is mending in soil?
Mending means using organic materials to make the soil cultivable.