How-To Video: Determine your Soil Type

Determining the type of soil you have can help you with your gardening success by making sure you compensate less favorable soil types.

Three main types:

  1. Clay

    • Sometimes called adobe or just “heavy” soil
    • Particles packed tightly
    • Holds little water or air
    • Drainage is very slow
  2. Sandy

    • Loose, large particles
    • Contain lots of air
    • Drains well, but loses nutrients faster
    • Plants need to be watered and fed often
  3. Loam

    • Ideal garden soil
    • A even mixture of clay, silt, and sand
    • Drains well, but doesn’t dry too fast
    • Holds nutrients well

To identify what you have

  • Thoroughly wet a patch of soil; let it dry for a day. Pick up a handful of it, and squeeze firmly. 
    • Tight ball and slippery - Clay
    • Gritty and doesn’t hold shape/crumbles - Sandy
    • Slightly crumbly, but loose ball -  Loam