The Q&A Archives: Loamy Soil

Question: What is loamy soil?

Answer: In a nutshell, loam is a soil type made up of a friable combination of clay, silt, sand and organic matter. The predominant rock content of the loam determines what type of loam it is: clay loam, sand loam, or silt loam. A good loam contains at least five percent organic matter. The organic matter is important because that is where the continuously occuring decay processes go on, plus it improves the tilth, structure and water-holding capacity of the soil. The overall proportions of the mix should be such that it allows about half solids and half space. The space is important because that is where the soil can hold air and water. Basically, a good loamy soil is what all gardeners dream of because a healthy soil will result in healthy plants. Most soils can be successfully improved by regular additions of organic matter and any other needed amendments as determined by soil tests.

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