Types of Soils

The United States Department of Agriculture employs soil scientists to survey soil conditions throughout the United States. This information is valuable in determining the best crops for the location as well as for monitoring changes in soil textures and make up after severe flooding or other environmental catastrophes.

Soil scientists have determined that there are at least Hazeleton. Hazelton soils are found in half of the counties within Pennsylvania but are also found in Kentucky, Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic states. Hazelton’s soil profile features stony sandy loam within its surface and sub-surface layers, channery sandy loam in its subsoils which lay on top of a very stony substratum which is borne from sandstone bedrock. All soils have profiles that are defined by the soils’ various horizons: the surface, subsurface, subsoil, substratum and bedrock layers.

In the Western United States soils tend to be younger than soils in the southeastern and other areas of the continent. These soils are young due to their emergence during the creation of the Rocky Mountains. Young soils lack the same amount of organic matter in topsoil as other areas. Lack of organic matter makes them less less fertile. This type of soil, however, is useful for grazing livestock. Prairie grasses grow well in the poor soil.

In the southeastern United States, where crops like peanuts, cotton and rice grow in abundance, soils like Tifton, the state soil of Georgia, feature a high quantity of loam and clay. Unlike sandy soil that drain water and are often difficult to keep fertilized, loam and clay soils are able to retain water and nutrients. The Tifton soil profile features a surface soil made of loamy sand, subsurface levels of loam, and sandy clay loam, and a sandy clay subsoil. This mixture of well-draining sand combined with water and nutrient retaining loam and clay makes it a primary agricultural soil in the south.

Each of the over 20,000 soils in the United States express a unique ration of the many variables found within soil. Each has an individual combination of sand, loam and clay. Within these three categories are a range of the amount of organic matter in the soil, the amount of water within the soil and the type of parent rock from which soil particles are formed.

To determine the type of soil in your area in general, and your garden in particular, take a soil sample. University extension master gardeners and soil scientists are able to provide soil sample analysis. The result of these analyses help gardeners, farmers and other agriculturists determine the best crops to grow in their area and the right amounts of fertilizers to incorporate into their soil.