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17 September 2014
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how to be a gardener - The complete online guide

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1 - Analysing your soil
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Silty soil
  • Smooth and soapy to the touch
  • Well-drained soil
  • Retains moisture
  • Richer in nutrients (more fertile) than sandy soil
  • Easier to cultivate than clay
  • Heavier than sand
  • Soil structure is weak and easily compacted
  • A very good soil if well managed
Silty soil
Plant listsPlants for silty soil.
Peaty soil
  • Contains a much higher proportion of organic matter (peat) because the soil’s acidic nature inhibits decomposition
  • But this means there are few nutrients
  • Dark in colour
  • Warms up quickly in spring
  • Highly water retentive and may require drainage if the water table is near the surface
  • Fantastic for plant growth if fertiliser is added
Peaty soil
Plant listsPlants for acid soil.
1. Know your plot

Assessing your plot
Analysing your soil
 Soil types
 Soil ph
Drawing a survey
Test your knowledge
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Plant lists Plant lists
Plants for different soil types:

Find thousands more plants in the BBC Gardening database.
Video Video
Soil, what's it all about?
Test your knowledge of planting in different lighting conditions. Or find out how to test your soil.
Requires Flash 5

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