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Archangel

Uk Soil Types

41 posts in this topic

There are five main types of soil found in the UK. These are:

* Clay,

* Sand,

* Loam,

* Chalk

* Peat,

* Subsoil

Of course these are only the basic types, the soil in any location may be a combination of one or more of them; thus there are clayey loams and sandy loams. Also there may be a difference between the soil exposed to the air and the underlying subsoil.

The basic types are explained below:

Clay may be likened in some ways to putty. It is very fine-grained, and smooth and silky to the touch. Even when it is well drained, it is wet, and so is difficult to cultivate during rainy periods and in the winter months. In fact, if it is dug or forked when wet, it has the nasty habit of settling down - or " panning," as it is called - like cement, and then it is very difficult to work afterwards.

Clays should be dug in the autumn, if possible, and left rough, so that the action of the frost and wind can pulverise them, and make them into an easily workable condition in the spring. These soils are said to be 'late', because it is impossible to get on them as early as sandy soils in the spring, and so the crops produced are later also. On the other hand, clay soils are much richer in plant food than sand, and this, in addition to their water-retention properties, makes them valuable in a dry season.

It is most important to see that clay soils are drained, and this is one of the best ways of improving them. Lime should be applied to clay soils regularly, as it prevents them from becoming so " sticky," and "opens" them up. During periods of draught, clay can become 'rock hard' and crack, it's not uncommon to see cracks 2 inches wide and 3 foot deep on lawns laid on clay.

Sandy soils contain less than 10 per cent of clay, and consist of very small particles of silica and quartz. The amount of humus present will alter the colour and the texture.

Sand is a light and dry soil. It is one of the warmest soils as it warms up much more quickly in the spring due to its dryness. For this reason it is useful in producing early crops.

One of the advantages of a sandy soil is that it can be worked at any time of the year and it is comparatively easy to cultivate. On the other hand it is poor in plant foods, coarse-grained, and does not retain moisture.

Loam The best way of describing loam is to say that it is an ideal blend of sand and clay. The sand being present to keep the soil open, and the clay, in its turn, ensuring that sufficient moisture-retention properties are there.

Obviously there are various types of loams, depending on the proportion of clay or sand present. Loam is generally considered the best soil for large numbers of plants. The ideal loam has all the advantages of sandy and clay soils, and none of their disadvantages. The sand present allows the plant roots to work easily throughout it ; the clay present helps to look after the plant food side, and prevents rapid drying out. In wet weather the water can percolate through quite quickly, and so the soil does not become waterlogged, and in dry weather it does not become too hard for the roots to work through.

Calcareous or chalky soils, more often than not, are very deficient in plant food and rather shallow. They are often very lacking in humus, and as much organic matter as possible should be added every year. They are more often calcareous by reason of the fact that they overlie chalk or limestone, and the fine particles of these substances may be found every time the land is cultivated. When wet, they are often very sticky and unpleasant, and so are difficult to work during rainy periods. In dry seasons they are disappointing, as they soon suffer from lack of water.

Because of the chalk present, the leaves of plants often become bright yellow in colour, owing to what is known as chlorosis. This yellowing may not affect the plants in any other way, but it usually means stunted growth. Chalky soils have the advantage that it is seldom necessary to lime them, and in them the clubfoot disease of cabbages, etc., does not flourish.

Into this group we can include the marls, though these are really a chalky clay. In the garden they are therefore treated in the same way as clay soils, except that, again, lime will not usually be necessary.

Peat soil has usually been derived from marsh land where there has been continuous growth and decay over thousands of years. The most outstanding feature of them is that they are usually absolutely free of lime and so are very "sour". This sourness is produced by the decaying of the vegetable matter present, as peat soils contain more than 20 per cent of humus.

Peat is usually found in low-lying areas, and so may be waterlogged and may need pipe draining. Certain crops, like celery, for instance, do very well on peat soils. Brown peat is more easy to work than the black, heavy bog-like peat. Once peat soils are well worked and limed, they can prove very valuable - in fact acid loving plants, such as rhododendrons and azaleas, prefer these soils to any other.

Subsoil

Most soils are about a foot in depth, though many of them are no deeper than eight or nine inches. Below this is what gardeners call the subsoil, which may be similar in character to the material above, and yet which may not contain available plant foods. It is important to try and get the soil to as great a depth as possible.

Of course there are places where the layer of soil may be only a few inches over hard rock, and, in others the soil type may go down as far as you can dig. Subsoil affects the gardener, chiefly because it either allows or impedes drainage of the top soil. For instance, if you have a light loam over gravel or sand, you can be assured that all excessive moisture will be quickly carried away. It is unfortunate to have an easily workable loam over clay, as then the movement of water is stopped and the surface can become waterlogged.

Therefore you must take notice of both the soil and the subsoil, as the one is the complement of the other.

post-23195-1267978791_thumb.jpg

Podsolised

Type of light-coloured soil found predominantly under coniferous forests and on moorlands in cool regions where rainfall exceeds evaporation. The constant downward movement of water leaches nutrients from the upper layers, making podzols poor agricultural soils. Podzols are very acidic soils.

The leaching of minerals such as iron and alumina leads to the formation of a bleached zone, which is often also depleted of clay.

These minerals can accumulate lower down the soil profile to form a hard, impermeable layer which restricts the drainage of water through the soil.

Edited by Archangel
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Clay

post-23195-1267979906_thumb.jpg post-23195-1267979924_thumb.jpg

Sandy

post-23195-1267980038_thumb.jpg

Loam

post-23195-1267980134_thumb.jpg

Chalky

post-23195-1267980235_thumb.jpg

Peat

post-23195-1267980305_thumb.jpg

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Just a quick reply to this.

Subsoil doesn't really need 2 be placed on the list as i very highly doubt anybody would be growing in this...and if you were it wouldn't be sub soil anymore.

Peat isnt soil, and its not something that can be successfully grown in without alot of work, especially cannabis where good amounts of nutrient levels are to be kept.

Id have avoided these two off the list and stuck with Clay, Sand and Loam

Finally i think a quick explanation of how to test your sol without taking an analytical soil test is needed. Its a very old method but it works very well. I shall upload the chart in a while.

Take a few small 'slices' of earth about a trowels depth. Place all the slices into a pot or bucket and mash it all together. Then take a small clump, apply some water and attempt to roll it into a ball using ur thumb and index finger. You should notice that the soil will resemble one of the following statements below:-

With a clayey soil, your rolling will be successful: you’ll end up with a ball the size of a marble.

With a sandy soil, your attempt at forming a ball will be completely unsuccessful: it will fall apart.

With a loamy soil, your attempt will show some promise, but ultimately fail: the ball will fall apart once you leave off applying pressure.

If its in-between the two of the statements above then you probably have a combined mix of the two, eg a Sandy loam.

This may also be of guidance to anybody.

40_pyramid_ca_070c.jpg

i shall post a chart later explaining more thoroughly how to test outdoor soil types

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:spliff:
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omg. u carn't buy simple techniques like these in no books. archangel u might find your self a grow stalker(just kidding)had a good look at your gurilla diery brill, and in ur posts its seems ur a neil young fan respect dude lcc joey peace :smokin::yinyang:

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pls if u can will u answer a few grow questions.

1. what is pipe-draining in peat soils?

2. what is the best way to plant on a hill?

3. a. u grow guerrilla with big buckets, don't u find they dry out quicker than plants in ground.

b. also i can see the obvious benefit with getting the roots warmer,quicker in the morning but just wondering how often u have to visit each spot for maintenance?

4. have u tried raised beds with cloches that also get warm early and these nets ive seen protect u from slugs/bugs and high winds, and rain passes through the nets? i haven't but is it a good idea?

5. do u have any new ideas on irrigation guerrilla style?

6. what plants to look for for tell-tail signs of good soil?

thanks dude hope u have the time...... j. :yinyang:

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Subsoil doesn't really need 2 be placed on the list as i very highly doubt anybody would be growing in this...and if you were it wouldn't be sub soil anymore.

Everybodies growing in it...its subsoil. The soil under soil...

Peat isnt soil, and its not something that can be successfully grown in without alot of work, especially cannabis where good amounts of nutrient levels are to be kept.

It has its uses. The Canadians have been growing in peat mixes for decades with amazing results, i dont really understand why people have such a problem with it, but yeah its not a soil, but it is a medium, which can be found and used in the UK.

pls if u can will u answer a few grow questions.

thanks dude hope u have the time...... j. :yinyang:

Hey Joey, not often i get interest like that and i like number question and answers and thanks for the compliments...Not exactly an expert but ive got 4 plus years outdoors uk now, under me belt...

1. what is pipe-draining in peat soils?

1. Pipe draining is using a pipe to drain water. Peat holds water. You'll see them used by the forestry commission in forests up and down the country, to stop bogs and streams/erosion forming, divert the water run off etc. There mostly used under a foot path, so you can actually use it. No real use in marijuana farming, just use swamptubes for wet areas, they'll mostly dry out over the summer anyway.

2. what is the best way to plant on a hill?

2. Not at the bottom of it, water run off can drown plants. Right on the top,%2

Edited by Archangel
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Subsoil doesn't really need 2 be placed on the list as i very highly doubt anybody would be growing in this...and if you were it wouldn't be sub soil anymore.

Everybodies growing in it...its subsoil. The soil under soil...

Peat isnt soil, and its not something that can be successfully grown in without alot of work, especially cannabis where good amounts of nutrient levels are to be kept.

It has its uses. The Canadians have been growing in peat mixes for decades with amazing results, i dont really understand why people have such a problem with it, but yeah its not a soil, but it is a medium, which can be found and used in the UK.

pls if u can will u answer a few grow questions.

thanks dude hope u have the time...... j. :yinyang:

Hey Joey, not often i get interest like that and i like number question and answers and thanks for the compliments...Not exactly an expert but ive got 4 plus years outdoors uk now, under me belt...

1. what is pipe-draining in peat soils?

1. Pipe draining is using a pipe to drain water. Peat holds water. You'll see them used by the forestry commission in forests up and down the country, to stop bogs and streams/erosion forming, divert the water run off etc. There mostly used under a foot path, so you can actually use it. No real use in marijuana farming, just use swamptubes for wet areas, they'll mostly dry out over the summer anyway.

2. what is the best way to plant on a hill?

2. Not at the bottom of it, water run off can drown plants. Right on the top,%2

thanks, carnt believe how much guerrilla growing has taken over, i mean ive literally stripped my indoor grow and its just got a few cuts and seedlings,in there and a few peppers. ive had anoth of the indoor paranoia and sleep walking probs. its not that im gonna grow here there and every where, ive found 2 spots, in over grown brambles, taken 2 days 2 clear. might take a few pots there next month, not planting in soil this year as i want the soil to rest this year as ive only just started working it, so like advised ill pot half in half out with big bottomless buckets only thing different is that im gonna stick a grow bag under my raised buckets has i don't want roots to hit the sub-soil with out extensive tests done, also the grow bag should wick up water ok, ive been reading up on water tables and irrigation, im in newbie-geek heavennnnnnnnnnnn waiting for the full moon in may, hope im blessed BAAL give me a bountiful harvest peace :yinyang:

thanks again archangel and u guys, with out u all i would be just has thick as i ever was?

and do u mind ne adding u has a friend.

peace :yahoo:

Edited by joeysoap
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Someone brought you up proper didnt they...course i dont mind.

I have no idea where the rest of that posts gone, it was there yesterday because i spent an hour proof reading what id written and it was jammed with good stuff.

Im not gonna type it all out again and this thread now needs a clean up which is a shame.

Have fun this season J...

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thanks peace out........ :yinyang:

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Cool thread thanks for that. Is it to late to do guerrilla growing now then. ? Iv not even germed my seeds.

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Summer solstice is this month, ideally you want your plants in the ground for it.

Get germing... :smoke:

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i love uk420, ive learnt so muchand am definitely trying this, does it matter that im two weeks late on the solstice if ive had em in to veg

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good post :yinyang:

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found a couple of sights for a grow this year and both sights are where ferns have been growing.

the soil actually looks like coco which is years of ferns growing and dying.

when you dig your hand into it , it gets darker as you go down .

will this be suitable for growing in or will i have to amend it.

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