Understanding Different Types of Soil
Before ever starting any outdoor landscaping project it’s important that you understand the different types of soil you will be working with. It is the most essential component of any landscaping project. Different soils serve different purposes and if not used in the right way your beautiful new custom landscaping will not last. Healthy landscaping and gardening starts with using the right soil.
Types of Soil
- Topsoil – It is the top layer of soil that is used to cover the ground. Usually it is for laying sod, growing grass, plants, flowers and vegetables. It should be about 6-8 inches deep. It contains the greatest amount of organic matter that includes valuable nutrients such as bacteria and fungi that keep the soil healthy. It also includes living organisms such as earthworms. People will often add organic matter such as compost, grass clippings, manure, and shredded leaves to feed these organisms.
- Subsoil – This is the soil that is typically beneath the topsoil. It works along with the topsoil to provide a healthy environment for things to grow in. It is composed of a mixture of small particles such as sand, and clay but has fewer organic materials. It affects how well the soil drains and helps with root absorption. If it is too compacted roots will not be able to grow and move freely.
- Clay – This is probably the most common type of soil we find in NC. At least you will find a lot of it mixed in with your soil. If you dig deep enough and sometimes you don’t have to go very far you will find clay. It is very dense dirt that is sticky and when dry becomes hard. If you were to plant grass in clay and not bring in the other two layers of soil you would find not very much grass would grow. It lacks the nutrients and organic matter that grass needs. Clay is slow to drain and it is hard for plant roots to move easily through. Only the hardiest of plants will grow in clay. Clay tends to expand and contract so it could affect the structure of a rock wall or cabana if built right on top of the clay.
Along with soil type there are other things such as soil color and soil texture that come into play with your landscaping projects. When working with EarthWorks Landscape Design you don’t have to worry about what soil type you have. Our landscaping experts understand and know what types of soils are needed for different projects. They also understand how soils will work with projects such as outdoor living areas, pools, hardscapes and other landscaping projects. Sometimes it is necessary to bring the right soil in or add to your current soil so you can have the best possible outcome.
If you would like to schedule a free onsite consultation with one of our landscaping experts and discuss landscaping projects for your Charlotte area home you can contact us here.