Not all soils are made equal. Your soil type depends on the parent rock from which it’s formed, on the influence of climate over hundreds of years and on what your house builder or previous owners have done to it.

Knowing your soil type means you’re better placed to pick plants that will feel right at home or improve the soil structure to help give your plants a better start.


There are three main soil types

The one-step soil type test

Sandy, loam or clay? The answer is literally in the palm of your hand. Simply take a handful of slightly moist soil from your garden and shape it into a ball. What does it look and feel like?

The ball of soil isn’t sticking together and feels rough and gritty.

You have sandy soil.

Click to learn more about sandy soil, how to improve it and the best plants to pick.

The ball of soil sticks together and is crumbly but not gritty

You have loam soil.

Congrats! You have the holy grail of soil. Click to learn more about loam soil.

My ball of soil sticks together, is sticky, can be easily moulded but it isn’t crumbly.

You have clay soil.

Click to learn more about clay soil, how to improve it and the best plants to pick.