The structure, fertility, drainage and acidity (pH) of your soil all have an impact on the health of the plants. Knowing what type of soil you have and how to improve it will help you to create the best growing environment.
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Determining the Soil's Texture
The size of the mineral particles in soil determines its texture, which tells you how it should be treated during cultivation. There are three basic soil types - clay, silt and sand - which occur in varying proportions. Pick up some of your soil and squeeze; when moist, clay soil forms sticky clumps and is shiny when smoothed. Clay soil holds water and nutrients well but can have poor drainage and be heavy to work.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007
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