Knowing your soil type when planning your garden allows you to focus on the type of plants that will grow successfully. While there are some steps that you can take to increase the productivity of your soil, you still should plant crops that align with your type of soil.
Some soil has clay in it causing the soil to compact together making it hard for the plant’s roots to work their way through the soil. In order to improve clay soil, work eight inches of organic matter into the top eight inches of soil. Crops that do well in clay soil include lettuce, chard, snap beans, broccoli, squash and pumpkins.
Other soil is sandy allowing water to drain from the area too quickly. Therefore, the soil does not retain the nutrients as well. Experts from allclearaz.com recommend adding peat or vermiculite to the soil but these only help retain moisture. As with clay soil, the best approach is to amend the soil with organic matter. Vegetables that grow well in sandy soil include watermelon, pole beans, asparagus, cucumbers and eggplants.
Finally, some soil is loamy. Gardeners with loamy soil can count their blessings because they do not have to work at amending the soil if they have a good pH level. Almost all plants grow well in loamy soil because it is full of organic matter and drains very well.