Prevailing Soil Types

Prevailing Soil Types

December 21, 2021 Off By Andy Ptyushkin


Before you start sowing and planting fruit and berry and vegetable crops, it is necessary to determine which variety the soils of your site belong to. As a rule, these are sod-podzolic or peat-bog soils.

By genetic origin, soils are divided into the following types: sod-podzolic, sod-carbonate, gray forest, peat (swamp), floodplain, chernozem and others.



Sod-podzolic soils are characterized by low fertility, a small layer of humus horizon (10 – 20 cm), low humus content (0.5 – 2.5 %), acidic reaction of soil solution (pH 4 – 5) and low content of nutrients available to plants. The main measures to increase the fertility of sod-podzolic soils are as follows: in regulating the water-air regime of excessively moistened soils by installing drainage and open drainage systems, carrying out technical work crops, increasing the humus layer by liming, systematic application of organic and mineral fertilizers.




Sod-carbonate soils, unlike podzolic soils, have higher natural fertility (contain up to 4 % humus) and lower acidity (reaction up to neutral), better provided with nutrients available to plants. In order to obtain high yields of fruit and berry and vegetable crops on these soils, it is necessary to apply an increased amount of organic and mineral fertilizers.


Prevailing Soil Types


Gray Forest

Gray forest soils are characterized by a slightly increased (up to 3 – 5 %) humus content. In terms of water-physical properties, they are close to sod-podzolic. The reaction of the soil environment is acidic and slightly acidic. The main measures to increase the fertility of gray forest soils are liming, application of organic fertilizers and mineral (mainly phosphoric and nitrogen) fertilizers.



Peat (Swamp)

Peat (swamp) soils are formed in conditions of waterlogging and are divided into lowland, upper and transitional. For use under gardens and vegetable gardens, the soils formed on lowland and transitional swamps are most suitable. Peat soils of lowland bogs have a deep peat layer (more than 40 cm), are characterized by high natural fertility, contain a lot of nitrogen (2 – 4 %), but little phosphorus and potassium, have a slightly acidic or neutral reaction, differ in a strong degree of decomposition of peat (30 – 60 %) and high humidity. Transitional marsh soils, unlike lowland ones, have increased acidity (pH 3.5 – 5), are characterized by a lower degree of peat decomposition. After drainage and carrying out cultural works, the introduction of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers, and where necessary — lime and trace elements, such soils can be successfully used for growing cold-resistant vegetable crops, potatoes, berries.

Top peatlands contain very few nutrients and consist of slightly decomposed acid peat, so they are of little use for growing horticultural plants. Riding peat is used for bedding when keeping farm animals, for composting, growing seedlings and vegetable crops in protected soil.




The soils of river floodplains are also called floodplains. This is a part of the river valley, which is flooded annually or periodically for some time by flood and hollow waters. Floodplain soils are the most valuable meadow lands, as they are additionally moistened and enriched with fertile sediments every year, they are very fertile for the cultivation of plants demanding moisture and mineral nutrition, such as vegetables, potatoes, cabbage, root crops, seeded grasses.
The development of floodplain soils requires drainage, removal of hummocks and destruction of shrubs, proper processing, application of mineral and micro fertilizers (copper, manganese and boric).




Chernozems have a black or almost black color due to the high content of humus (4 – 9 % or more). Chernozems have better physical properties than other soils. The granular and granular-lumpy structure of the upper horizons determines good air and water permeability of soils. The microflora is mainly represented by bacteria, which find in such soil very favorable conditions for active life. Depending on the characteristics of the formation conditions, the type of chernozem soils is divided into the following subtypes: podzolized, leached, typical, ordinary, southern. The high natural fertility of chernozems has long attracted farmers. The most important task of agriculture is to preserve and increase the natural fertility of chernozem soils. Techniques aimed at improving the water regime play a primary role here. Characterized by high potential fertility, chernozems contain few nutrients that are easily accessible to plants. Therefore, it is necessary to apply fertilizers on these soils, as well as to activate the activity of soil microflora in them. Of the mineral fertilizers, phosphoric ones are of paramount importance.