QUESTION: What’s the best soil for growing herbs outdoors? I am wondering if you need a special type of soil to be successful or if any kind of soil will work. – Lisa O
ANSWER: This question can be answered any number of ways as there are different types of soil and different herbs which thrive in each setting.
There is sandy soil, silt or chalk soil, clay soil, and loamy soil. Let’s discuss each and the herbs which grow best in them.
Sandy soil is the poorest quality soil. It’s very fine and doesn’t retain nutrients or moisture well. However, this isn’t a drawback for all herbs.
Silt or chalk soil is made up of particles which are smaller than sand but larger than clay. This type of soil is a step-up from sand as it holds water better than sand does.
Next up for discussion is clay soil. This type of soil has smaller particles which fit together snugly. This leaves little room for air space.
However, clay soil does retain moisture very well as it’s the heaviest type of soil. The downside to this soil type is it isn’t well-draining. This makes it hard for roots to dig into and become established in this type of soil.
Our last soil type is loamy. This soil is a combination of them all and displays the best qualities of each soil type.
Therefore, loamy soil is known for retaining both nutrients and moisture in a growing space. It’s also known for being well-draining.
If you live where there’s loamy soil, you should be able to grow most herbs in this type of soil. You may amend it as needed to provide the right nutrients and should provide adequate care to ensure your herbs thrive.
Otherwise, most herb plants should do well when grown in loamy soil.
You now know the different soil types found in different growing locations. Hopefully, you have an idea of which herbs would grow best in your area based upon your soil type.
Remember, providing the right soil is only the beginning. If the plants don’t receive the right amount of light, nutrients, and care they may not thrive. Be sure to do your research prior to planting any herb to give it the greatest chance of thriving under your care.