Silty soil – soil rich in various nutrients. Also, such soil is heavier, because it retains moisture and tends to be compacted. However, water also passes through it easily and is easier to cultivate than clay. In general, consider yourself a lucky gardener if you come across muddy soil.
Silty soil is similar to loam but contains fewer sand and clay particles. Silty soil retains water well, sometimes too well, and therefore sometimes additives are required to prevent the soil from compaction.
Compared to loam, it is more fertile, and the size and irregular shape of soil particles give the property of good aeration. At the same time, it does not retain water as much as clay soil and does not leave moisture as much as through sandy soil. Such land is where rivers flow or have flowed. This soil is excellent for agriculture and is prone to erosion.
These soils differ from sandy soils in their greater tendency to form a crust, which is often very hard. If plowed, they can merge and this will reduce their ability to pass water through them during wet periods. During dry periods, such soils can become difficult to cultivate. However, they are quite easy to process and can store a considerable supply of water. Silty soils require good compaction, but wet soil cultivation should be avoided.
Improvement of silty soil
This requires the addition of organic matter such as compost. Compost consists of organic particles that decompose in the ground for a long time and, due to their size, do not allow the soil to be compacted. It is also a good source of natural nitrogen and carbon.
Peat is not bad in this regard, but it has 2 significant drawbacks:
- Dried peat becomes water-repellent.
- Peat makes the soil sour.
Avoid compacting the soil. Do not go where you are growing or intend to grow plants. Do not add sand or clay as soil-improving ingredients – this will not help.
Watering muddy soils
Silty soils have microscopic spaces between particles where water is retained better than in sandy soils. In view of this, silty soils sometimes tend to swamp.
If these spaces between the particles are constantly filled with water, then the aeration of the roots is disrupted and the roots begin to rot. In addition, if the muddy soil is swamped, it will not immediately return to its original state.
So do not be frivolous, know the measure of watering this type of soil, observe the properties of the soil in your garden.
But do not rush to the other extreme – underwatering.
To determine moisture, pinch the top layer of the soil – it should be dry to the touch. If the leaves of your plants turn light green or wilted, then there is not enough moisture.
Allow sufficient pauses between waterings to dry out the soil.
On muddy soils, everything grows well, if everything is done correctly.