pH value is a measurement of its acid-forming capacity. The pH scale numbers from 1.0 to 14.0. Values below 7.0 indicate soil in the acidic range, and the lower the number, the greater the soil’s acid-forming ability. Clay soil particulates are so tiny that they pack tightly together, locking in moisture and nutrients, but restricting oxygen and drainage. Made of up ground rock particles, sandy soil neither holds the amount of moisture nor retains the vital nutrients needed to grow many types of vegetables and flowering plants.
- Soil pH that falls within the slightly acidic range, between 6.0 and 7.0, is considered optimal for most plants and flowers.
- Woody perennials, such as wisteria, tend to do well in non-amended clay soil.
- If your soil is sandy and you don’t intend to amend it, limit your garden landscape to plants that thrive even when their roots dry out between waterings.
“Soil type—which is a classification determined by texture and relative proportions of sand, silt, and clay—will define the dirt’s ability to retain nutrients and moisture and therefore what it’s suitable to grow.”