A handy guide to soil

2nd September 2019
A handy guide to soil

With so many different types of soil available, it can be difficult to know how to use each variety appropriately. At MB Wilkes, Dorset’s leading supplier of decorative aggregates and landscape supplies, our team of soil experts have created this guide to 3 common soil types and their uses to help you make the right decision.

Sandy Soil

Sandy soils have a high proportion of sand, are quick draining after watering or rain, and heat up quickly in warmer weather, making them easy to cultivate and work. However, as sandy soil is so effective at draining, it tends to dry out and become low in the nutrients essential to the success of many plants.


Uses of sandy soil

  • Good for growing vegetables
  • Suitable for trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials
  • Improves soil drainage
  • Used in construction, particularly as aggregate for concrete

Clay soil

While clay soil is packed with nutrients and is highly fertile, it is also very dense and holds a lot of water, making it difficult for plants to grow and take advantage of these key ingredients. One of the most difficult soils to work with, clay soil can be improved by mixing it with a good fertiliser or sandy soil.

Uses for clay soil

  • Apple, elm, ash and willow trees thrive in clay soil
  • Suitable for some flowers and shrubs including holly and asters
  • When mixed with sandy soil, it can be used for a wide variety of plants

Chalky soil

One of the most prevalent types of soil in the UK, chalky soil is often full of stones, can become very dry in warmer months and is highly alkaline, making it quite the challenge for gardeners. However, it’s nutrients can be improved with the right mix of fertilisers.

Uses for chalky soil

  • Growing Mediterranean and prairie plants
  • Trees and shrubs should do well in chalky soil
  • Can be improved with appropriate fertiliser


If you’re looking to improve your soil, the experts at MB Wilkes are here to help with their professional advice and guidance. To speak to a member of our friendly team, simply contact us today on 01258 857465.

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