Different soils have different textures and properties that should be considered when growing different things in them.
In this short guide, we outline what might grow well in loamy types of soils – which are called loam, or sandy loam (when the loam mix is majority sand).
Summary – What Grows Well In Loamy Soil
- Loamy soil has traits/properties that make it different from other types of soils
- These traits/properties mean that different plants, fruits, vegetables, and other things are going to be more suitable for growing in loamy soil than others
- Loamy soils are actually one of the most fertile and best soils to grow crops and other things in
- There’s still different materials that can be added to a loamy soil though in order to amend or improve it for growing conditions
- Some say the best soil is a loam type soil that is 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt, and 20 percent clay as it’s fertile, but also has good water drainage, good moisture retention and allows good infiltration of air and water.
- The soil type is only one factor in determining what you can and can’t grow in that soil – there’s also other factors to consider, with climate/weather conditions being one major one
- Overall, each individual geographic area (in different regions, States/Provinces, and so on) of soil needs to be assessed individually with all it’s own unique factors and variables to determine what does and doesn’t grow well in it. There may be growing principles that apply to loamy soils generally, but, individual growing variables can change that to different extents
Characteristics Of, & Profile Of Loamy Soil
Loamy soils tend to:
- Be one of the best and most fertile soils for cultivation of plants and crops of many kinds … it’s often referred to as the ideal soil type
- Consist of sand, clay, and silt – so it combines the best qualities of each.
- Have good aeration
- Hold water well and also drains it well
- Have good soil structure
- Has a dark brown or black color to it
Working With, Improving & Amending Loam Soils
Loam soil can benefit from topping up with organic matter, mulches, composts and sometimes needs slight pH rebalancing if it’s a touch too acidic.
Also, sometimes needs watering regularly to prevent it from drying out
Some say the best soil is a loam type soil that is 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt, and 20 percent clay as it’s fertile, but also has good water drainage, good moisture retention and allows good infiltration of air and water.
Read more about working with and amending or improving loam soil at:
- How To Make The Most Of Your Soil Type (learn.eartheasy.com)
- What Can Be Grown In Loamy Sand? (homeguides.sfgate.com)
- Flowers & Vegetables For Loamy Sand Soil (homeguides.sfgate.com)
A Note On Soil Types, & What Ultimately Impacts How Things Grow
Before we look at what grows well in loam soil, it’s important to note that all soils are slightly different in composition depending on the location (you might get one type of loam in one location, but in another you might get a different type of loam with different characteristics), there are different external factors acting upon each soil, and ultimately, there are many physical, chemical and biological factors that determine how well something grows in a particular spot or under particular conditions.
This is just a guide on loamy soils in general, without going into extreme depth about all these other factors (factors like soil fertility, soil health, soil quality, fertilizer added, top soil added, pesticides added, tilling practices and so on).
It would do you well in the long term to get information on the soil in your location (what it is and what is the best way to manage it), the climate in your location (temperature, rainfall etc.) and the growing seasons (for example – the US has different planting zones), the plants or things you want to grow and the conditions they need – and come up with a specific plan for your situation.
These guides provide some basic information on figuring out what might grow well in different soils, conditions and locations:
- All The Factors That Affect The Growth Of Plants
- How To Know What Grows In Your Soil Or Garden
- How To Know What Grows In Your Geographic Area Or Climate Zone
- I Can’t Grow Anything In My Soil – What Do I Do?
Flowers & Plants That Grow Well In Loam Soil
- Dog’s-tooth violets
- Black Bamboo
- Flower bulbs that grow well in sandy soils include snowdrops, anemones, grape hyacinths, lilies and daffodils
- Annual and perennial flowers recommended for sandy loam soils include lemon bee balm, blood sage, Maximilian sunflower, butterfly milkweed and purple poppymallow
Vegetables, Crops & Fruits That Grow Well In Loam Soil
- Most common vegetable crops and berry crops will do well in loamy soil
- Examples of common vegetables and crops that grow well in loamy soil are tomatoes, peppers, green beans, cucumbers, onions and lettuce.
- Other popular vegetables that will grow well in sandy loams include sweet corn, okra, radishes, eggplant, carrots, pole beans, greens and spinach
- In general, root vegetables, and leafy vegetables to do well in sandy loam
Fruits that can grow in loam include:
Trees & Shrubs That Grow Well In Loam Soil
- … pine species, soft maple, honey locust, cottonwood, willow and Douglas firs will grow in a wide array of soils including sandy loam.
- Rose, sumac, honeysuckle, hazel and juniper are a few of the shrubs you can successfully grow in sandy loam.
Herbs & Spices That Grow Well In Loam Soil
- Lemon balm, sage, basil, horehound, lavender and thyme are only a few of the herbs and spices that grow in sandy loam.