Types of Soil

All soil is not the same. It has varying textures. Scientists describe soil based on the amount of clay, silt, and sand it contains. The combination of these three things affects the way the soil looks and feels. It also affects its ability to help plants grow.

Clay particles are the smallest particles in soil. They can hold a lot of nutrients. Clay particles are smooth when they are dry but very sticky when wet. Water cannot easily move through clay particles. Air can't, either. Wet clay is so sticky; even water and air get stuck!

Silt particles are a little bigger than clay particles. They have a powdery texture and feel smooth. Silt remains smooth even when it is wet. Unlike clay, these particles don't get sticky.

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