In many articles we refer to the types of suitable soil for each particular crop. Today we are going to deal in a general way with the types of soils for agriculture, gardening and sports fields.

What is the cultivable soil according to the RAE?

It is the set of organic and inorganic materials (animal and plant residues, rocks, water and air) from the earth's surface, capable of supporting plant life.

Soil texture

The components of the soil are a mixture of three basic elements: Clay, Limo and Sand.

The texture is the proportion that each of these components has:

  • Facilitating your work.
  • Promoting water retention.
  • Allowing air circulation.
  • Assessing the speed with which the water can cross the ground.

In order to analyze the composition of the soil, a sample must be screened and all elements larger than 2 mm must be removed. Thus we will be left with the three previous elements of clay, silt and sand in the different proportions that give rise, according to the USDA ( United States Department of Agriculture) , to the pyramid that classifies them.

Tipos de terreno en general- Composición del suelo
Composition according to USDA

As can be seen, the classifications vary according to the percentage of silt, clay and sand.

Dry soil type technique

There are many techniques to know what type of soil we have, and of course it can be taken to a laboratory that indicates its composition.

But to get an idea we can do a dry test with the only device of a sieve with 2-millimeter holes to eliminate fat sands and other solid elements.Textura del sueloTextura del suelo

Soil type according to the water they retain

When we apply irrigation to a crop, the best way to optimize water is drip irrigation, so a moist bulb is generated in the environment of the plant that takes different forms depending on the type of soil.


This therefore influences the absorption of the root system. As the roots are shorter and need more water, the usually should be more clayey. However if the roots are deeper and don't need much moisture, the soil should be more sandy.

Taking into account water retention we can find soils:

  • Dry : if they are totally sandy, the soil is very little fertile because it does not retain water, it is considered very light in texture.
  • Puddled : clay are considered heavy and compact and will retain a lot of water and nutrients.
  • Wet : the intermediate type that would be the francs , retain water but without puddling. They are of medium texture and are the most suitable for most crops.
Riego controlado por sensores
Sensor controlled irrigation

Other physical properties of the soil

  • Structure : the way in which the solid particles are ordered. It influences how easy or difficult it is to grow.
  • Porosity : small spaces where water and air enter.
  • Colour : dark if they have a lot of organic matter and lighter if they are more rocky.
  • Permeability : Indicates how easily water and air move in the soil.
  • Depth : It is measured by the reach of the roots and the location of nutrients and water.
  • Drainage : the ease with which runoff occurs, especially after rain.

pH: acidity or alkalinity

Within the chemical properties, pH is the set of hydrogen ions in the soil and can be acidic or alkaline.

  • It is measured between 0 and 14.
  • The lower it is considered acidic and the higher alkaline.
  • Ideally, it should be between 5.5 and 7.
  • The water if it is neutral has pH = 7.
  • The more arid they are, the higher the pH.
  • Acidic soils harm crops.
  • It directly influences the absorption of plants.


The set of mineral salts that it has in solution. If the concentration is too high, it damages the absorption of the root system and the soil becomes less productive.

Depending on the type of soil, pH, salinity, climate, cold hours, late frosts, etc., we must select our crop.

Other chemical properties

  • Soil fertility : amount of macronutrients and micronutrients that its composition has.
  • MOS : soil organic matter formed by plant and animal residues.
  • COS : organic carbon in the soil, part of the natural carbon cycle through the soil.

Composición del suelo

Plantae analyzes the composition of the lands of its clients

One of our priorities before installing humidity, conductivity and temperature sensors is to analyze the type of terrain we are on. To do this we follow the following steps:

  • A sample is sent to the laboratory to assess where we are in the pyramid.
  • We measure pH and conductivity to assess the amount of salts and the amount of oxidizable organic matter.
  • Macronutrients are analyzed such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
  • Also the micronutrients , mainly nitrogen.
  • We assess whether the ground is light or heavy.

These measurements indicate the shape of the wet bulb around the plant and we value the measurement of the sensors, adapting the measurements of the rods to the root system and the possible depth of the soil.

Nutrients suitable according to FAO

Riego con sensores en almendros