What Is Sandy Loam Soil?


Soil is described by textures and classified by the fractions of sand, silt, and clay. Loam is the concentration of the sand, silt, and clay, therefore it is referred to as “sandy clay” or “silty clay”. Sandy loam is relatively equal in proportions with all three of these fractions. In construction terms, sandy loam soil is referred to as “select fill” due to the compaction capabilities and stability. Most soils usually have a substantial amount of organic matter which will also determine the actual total pore space.

Sandy loam soil photos

Sandy loam soil is great for the farmer or preparing soil for a vegetable garden if planting produce such as melons, tomatoes, okra, squash, citrus, and persimmon do well in the warmer climates. You can choose from a wide range of vegetables and fruits with this type of soil.

Roses also do very well when they have a bed of perfectly balanced loam, however they require a good fertilizing regimen, nutrients and good drainage. Roses bloom very poorly in clay as it is too dense for their roots to aerate properly. Jasmine also will grow best in moist loam soils but careful attention has to be paid to drainage. There are a number of other flowers such as Wild Bergamot, Wood Anemone, Spiderwort, Amaryllis, California poppy, Yucca and Baby’s-breath which will all thrive in sandy loam.

How to use a soil test kit

Few Limitations with Sandy Loam Soil

As you see, if you have a sandy loam soil condition, you have few limitations as to what you can plant and expect a “green thumb” experience. See other articles on this site on the Composition of Sandy Loam Soil and how to make it if you have a high concentration of clay or rocky soil.

The very best substrate for a building foundation is a sandy loam soil or in construction terms, “select fill”. This soil compacts relatively easy and is very stable in regard to expansion. For more information on soil for foundations, see my article on this site, “Slab on Grade Foundation”.