Hand holding garden soil

Understanding the Soil in Your Garden

When it comes to gardening, one of the most important things you need to understand is the soil. The type of soil you have will dictate what kinds of plants can grow in your garden and how well they will grow.

We’ll take a look at the different types of soil and what they mean for your garden.

There are three main types of soil: sand, clay, and loam.

Sand Soil

Sand soil is made up of large particles of sand. This type of soil drains quickly and doesn’t retain water well. Plants that require a lot of water won’t do well in sand soil.

A sandy loam ground with sand soil in a natural garden.
Sand soil

Clay Soil

Clay soil is made up of small, dense particles of clay. This type of soil retains moisture well, but it can also become waterlogged easily. Plants that require little water will do well in clay soil.

Man working with a shovel in clay soil.
Clay soil

Loam Soil

Loam soil is a mix of sand, clay, and organic matter. This type of soil has good drainage and retains moisture well. Most plants will do well in loam soil.

Loam soil on an agricultural tool.
Loam soil


As you can see, the type of soil you have in your garden makes a big difference in what kinds of plants can grow there and how well they will grow. If you’re not sure what type of soil you have, you can take a sample to your local nursery or county extension office to have it tested.

Once you know what kind of soil you’re dealing with, you can choose plants that are best suited for it.