Amelia Gomes  /   12/23/2022

Understanding Soil Types For Land Uses

As a landowner, you may have researched and verified certain essential parts of your property. Elements like your land’s soil type and its terrain help you determine suitable plans for it. Discovering natural resources like water or mineable rock on your land contributes to your existing intentions for the property. Understanding the different soil types for land uses is key to knowing how to effectively use your property.

This article will educate you on suitable soil for different land uses. Questions like “What soil types are best for farming?” and “Can I build on land with these soil types?” should be a no-brainer when you finish reading this post.

In addition to helping you find great land choices and identifying valuable resources, Community Lands enlightens you on ways to create new plans for a property based on several factors. This well-thought-out and educational post will go through the suitable soil types for land uses such as agriculture, housing, construction, and recreation, to name a few. So join us as we take you on this eye-opening journey. Let’s go!

Types of Soil for Different Land Uses


You should understand that various soil types impact the foundation of your building. The soil on the land where you plan to build a structure affects the construction of the project and any necessary repairs.

That’s why it’s essential to know the most typical soil types used in buildings. Here are a few to note:

Sand and gravel

The large granules in sand and gravel allow this soil to drain water quickly. This quality makes it suitable for buildings. It means less water retention, which reduces the possibility that the building will move and develop structural and non-structural flaws. In addition, compacted sand and gravel provide even more solidity and make an excellent foundation.

However, you should know that sand gets washed away over time. In these circumstances, helical piers, also known as screw piles or anchors, are an appropriate foundation technique for sandy soil.


Because loam contains the right proportions of clay, sand, and silt, it is the best soil type for construction. It strikes the perfect balance between their best attributes to support a foundation. In addition, loam typically responds effectively to the presence of water and does not radically change, grow, or contract. 

Building on loam has one potential disadvantage: undecomposed material may be present. That’s why it needs to be filtered before construction.


The excellent carrying capacity of the various varieties of rock, such as sandstone and limestone, to mention a few, makes them all fantastic choices for construction. These stones are ideal for making the foundation for important buildings. 

Underneath a topsoil layer is a rock layer known as bedrock. Bedrock is more solid and immune to water damage than clay, which can stretch and move. As a result, your building is less likely to crack as it moves or settles. The most crucial step in creating a foundation on rock is to make sure the ground is level before beginning.


One of the critical elements of successful farming is understanding the sort of soil you have and the type you need for the crops you have in mind.

Knowing your soil type can help you select successful crops. Understanding the quality of your soil can also help you determine what you need to do to modify and develop it for success. Continue reading to learn more about the best soil types for farming.

Loamy Soil  

Loam is fertile soil with a silt, clay, and sand mixture. One of the best-drained soils is this one. Depending on how much of each component is present, loam soil can be either clay loam or sandy loam. It is an excellent soil for legumes, oilseeds, sugarcane, cotton, wheat, jute, and other crops.

The light and breezy nature of loam soil present it as a suitable growing foundation for a wide range of crops.

Sandy Soil

This soil is excellent for root vegetables like carrots, turnips, and parsnips because it offers solid drainage. Sandy soil is also ideal for growing herbs, including thyme, bush clover, creeping juniper, and bayberry. Figs, pomegranates, melons, and coconuts also grow well in sandy soil.

Loamy Sand Soil 

This combination makes the best use of these two beneficial soil types. Tomatoes, leafy greens, beets, and carrots are just a few of the vegetable crops that benefit from their excellent drainage and nutrients.

Clay Soil 

Many do not consider clay an ideal soil because it is not light and airy. Nevertheless, certain plant species thrive in soil that contains a lot of clay. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, herbs like red valerian and yarrow, and trees like black walnut, maple, pear, and cherry are included in this group.


Silt is a very fertile soil that offers a wealth of beneficial nutrients to vegetables, including turnips, cabbage, carrots, and lettuce. Fruit trees like pomegranates and citrus, as well as berries like raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries, also thrive in silty soil.


Nature plays a vital role in recreational places around the world. As a result, soil is critical in facilitating natural resources that will thrive and work for this purpose.

Some leading outdoor recreation pursuits include hiking, camping, hunting, picnicking, fishing, boating, etc. The type of soil around these places helps visitors explore nature better. It also allows them to use the facilities’ resources. Here are a few you should know:


Aridsols are the name for the arid desert soils, which frequently have silica, salts, gypsum, other minerals, and animal and plant skeletons. These soil types are ideal for wildlife, ranges, and desert recreational activities.

Native Soils

In native soil or sand-based systems, you can grow grass in highly maintained areas, such as those on an athletic field or golf greens and tees.

Native soils provide a lot of advantages, including a high capacity to hold nutrients, water, and stability. Fields with native soil, however, are usually very poorly drained. This makes it challenging to maintain a safe playing field and cultivate turf. However, they prevent soil compaction and give the lawn manager better control over managing moisture.

Mobile Homes 

The best soil type for residential home construction must possess qualities that support builders and sustain the foundation of a house well. Here are some common types that facilitate that purpose:


This is the best soil type for building houses since it contains silt, sand, and clay. Loam is pleasant to the touch and is crumbly in appearance. Because it is equally balanced, loam can hold water at a more consistent rate. This makes it a perfect option for construction, as long as no organic or miscellaneous soils make their way into the surface.


Shale, hard chalk, limestone, and bedrock can support the weight. As long as the rock is level, its strength and longevity make it suitable for supporting foundations.


Despite containing the largest particles of all the other soil types, sand drains rather effectively and does not absorb much rainwater. As a result, sand holds together reasonably well when it is damp and compressed.

Sand soil can sustain a home even though it doesn’t hold water well because the particles might wash away over time and leave spaces beneath the foundation.

Matching a property with the right type of soil goes a long way toward achieving the land’s purpose. Understanding the suitable soil types for land uses helps you maximize the resources found on the land. Healthy soils for infrastructure should have a balanced chemistry to avoid material corrosion. Farming soil types must facilitate the planted crops. 

To learn more about how to be the most efficient and environmentally-friendly land owner you can be, visit the Community Lands’ Learn Center.

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