Knowing what type of soil you have will help you determine how long the sprinklers should run in that zone. Water soaks in the ground at different rates depending on the density of the soil A more dense soil will take longer for the water to penetrate or it may not need as much water as a less dense soil. A less dense soil will soak up water quickly and needs to be watered longer than a dense soil.
Type of Soils
There are many types of soils. For simplicity of classification we are going to introduce you to 5 different types.
1. Sand – it’s like a beach, its grainy and slips through your hand when you pick it up. It’s not likely to hold much moisture and is not likely the best situation for any type of plant material to thrive in.
2. Sandy Loam – its a mix of sand and loam. It isn’t as loose as sand but not as dense as loam. There is a better chance of plant material thriving in this type of soil than in plain sand. It will take more water than loam but it’s worth a shot! It will soak up water better than just sand. Water aggressively.
3. Loam – this is a dense soil. It clumps easily but when you pick it up it breaks apart. This is the best kind of soil to plant in and should be watered at a normal, medium rate of precipitation. It will soak up water easily but not aggressively.
4. Clay Loam – this is a mix of clay and loam. It harder to break apart than plain loam but it’s not as tough as clay. It’s still a viable soil to grow plant material in. Water moderately. It’s a dense material and is not likely to soak up water very easily.
5. Clay – this is the densest of all the soil types. Just like sand, it’s not an ideal soil to try to get plant materials to thrive in. It feels more like rock than dirt and will not soak water well.
Identifying Soil Types Will Help You Water More Effectively
Identifying the type of soil on your property will help you determine how long your irrigation system should run for that particular zone of your property. It may even help you determine if you need to have that type of soil removed and replaced as is the case with sand or clay. You will not get a grass, plants or shrubs to thrive in a landscape environment otherwise.
R & R Sprinkler and Landscape Can Help
If identifying and accommodating the soils on your property puzzles you then we can help. Contact our office for one of our professional landscape designers to access your property. We can tell you if your soil needs to be replaced, mixed or is just right. We can also advise you of the correct plant materials to place in each type of soil for maximum longevity.