What is soil made from?

Soil is a mixture of tiny particles of rock, dead plants and animals, air and water. Different soils have different properties depending on their composition.

  • Sandy soil is pale coloured and has large particles. These create lots of small air gaps. Water drains through them easily so it usually feels dry.
  • Clay soil is usually sticky and has small particles. They contain very few air gaps and water does not drain through it easily.
  • Chalky soil is a light brown soil. Water drains through it quickly.
  • Peat does not contain any rock particles. It's made from very old decayed plants and is dark, crumbly and rich in nutrients.

There's more to learn...