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What are Some Different Soil Textures?

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
Soil Textures
Soil particles are classified by size and shape. Clay particles are the smallest and flat. Sand particles are the largest and boulder shaped. Silt particles are intermediate. The physical performance of soils is mostly a function of particle size and shape. "Soil Texture" is a term that is used to discuss the physical properties of soils based on the relative percentages of these different particles.

Clay Soil
Clay soils have a very dense soil structure. The particle size is extremely small and there is very little open space between and around the particles. Water enters and drains from clay slowly. Clay soils can be very fertile but hard to work. Soils should have at least 35 percent by volume clay particles to be classified as "clay".

Silt is the soil particle that is intermediate in size between the smaller clay particle and the larger sand particle. Silt, in combination with clay and sand, are the building blocks of loam.

Sandy Soil
Sandy soils have an open soil structure. The particle size is large and there is a lot of open space between and around the particles. They take up water readily and are sharp draining. They are often short on nutrients but easy to work. Soils should contain at least 70 percent by volume sand particles to be classified as "sand".

Loam has a mixture of sand, silt, and clay particles. Typically, loam soils contain approximately 40% by volume sand, 40% by volume silt, and 20% by volume clay. Loam is ideal for most plants and is easy to work.

There are a number of intermediates in the classification of soil texture such as loamy sand or sandy loam but they are still the result of the relative percentages of sand, silt and clay.

Soil Structure
Soil structure is the way in which the sand, silt, and clay particles are grouped together. The drainage capacity of the soils and the ability of the soils to make nutrients available to the plant are functions of soil structure.
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