Loamy soil is deemed by gardeners to be the best type of soil in which to grow virtually all plants. Loamy soil, simply put, is soil that contains a roughly equal amount of sand, silt and clay. These three soil particles have been classified by soil scientists and horticulturists.
Of the three categories of soil, sand particles are the largest and allow air to flow through the particles easily. Clay particles are much smaller in size, forming a denser texture through which neither air nor water can easily pass. Silt particles are neither as small as clay nor as large as sand, and offer a middle ground concerning aeration and water saturation.
Loamy soil, therefore, combines the characteristics of each soil particle evenly. Loamy soil can carry plenty of water, but it also breathes well and drains well, so that water and air can reach the roots, thus ensuring healthy plants.
The soil in your garden can be made loamy by adding organic materials to sandy soil. Organic materials include compost, animal manure, crops, or mulch. This addition will greatly improve the soil’s ability to support large amounts of water and nutrients. Add at least a two-inch layer of organic material to see a difference.
You’ll also need to remember to repeat the process every year, as it takes several years to see a real improvement in the nature of the soil. Each year you work the soil and plant, take these steps to ensure your soil achieves the perfect balance of sand, silt and clay. The combination of the three make the perfect “loamy soil” gardeners need for healthy, beautiful plants every year.