Comprising more humus than sandy soils, loam soils are a preferred choice for gardening and agricultural purposes. Read ahead to know more about this type.
According to researchers, soil particles are classified into three important groups -- silt, clay, and sand. A mixture of these groups, in (almost) equal ratio, forms this type of soil.
This soil is loose and not stiff like the clay soil and they are highly porous which means that they can retain a high level of moisture and also allows proper circulation of air. It retains enough water for the plant and drains off the excess amount.
This soil is rich in nutrients which means that it does not need much fertilizers. If you want to test whether or not the soil that you are using is loam soil or not, then just pick a fistful of it when it's moist and compress it; it will form a lump.
Next if you burst it, the lump breaks up into loose chunks. This soil is much easier to till as compared to clay soil, and is best suited for plants (especially, the loam potting soil) as well as for agricultural purposes.
It also does not need much care and in order to increase its nutritional value of the soil, you can also add organic materials and this will also help you to keep the soil in a better condition.
There are various types depending on which the water retention capacity of the soil changes. What leads to the formation is the variation in the amount of the sand, clay, and silt present in the soil.
Clay Loam: As the name suggests, clay soil is the one in which the amount of clay is more than that of sand and silt. It becomes sticky when it's moist.
Silty Clay Loam: This is the type of soil that contains around 25 to 40% of clay and less than around 15% of sand. When moist, it becomes sticky to touch.
Sandy Loam: It is used for those plants which requires a well-drained soil. Here, the sand occupies a large amount of the soil composition.
Sandy Clay Loam: This soil contains enough sand to give it a rough or gritty feeling. But at the same time there is enough clay to make a firm lump.
Silt Loam: Silt loam contains more of silt than sand and clay and when you touch it, it will have a floury feeling. It forms loosely-packed weak lumps.