Crops Suitable for Silt Soil and Properties of Slit Soil

Introduction: Hello farmers today we are here to help you with some informatuon of crops suitable for siLt soil and slit  soil properties, characterstics. Silt soil is light and moisture-retentive soil with a high fertility rating. As silt soils compromise of medium-sized particles they are good drained and hold moisture well. As the particles are fine, they can be simply compacted and are prone to washing away with rain. By adding organic matter, the silt particles could be bound into more stable clumps. If you have plan to grow any commercial crop and own a silt soil, you must be aware of propertoes and crops suitable for silt soil.

A step by step guide to crops suitable for Silt soil

Silt soil is known to have much smaller particles compared to the sandy soil and is made up of rock and other mineral particles which are smaller than sand and larger than clay. Silt is the smooth and quite fine quality of the soil that holds water better than sand.  Silt is easily transported by moving currents and it is mostly found near the river, lake, and other water bodies. The silt is more fertile compared to the other three types of soil. Therefore it is used in agricultural practices to improve soil fertility. What are we waiting for? Let’s get into the details of crops suitable for silt soil.

A guide to Silt Soil.
A guide to Silt Soil.

Properties of Silt soil

Silt is a granular material of a size between sand and clay soil. Silt could occur as a soil (often mixed with sand or clay) or as sediment mixed in suspension with water (also known as a suspended load) and soil in a body of water such as a river. It could exist as soil deposited at the bottom of a water body, like mudflows from landslides. Silt soil has a moderate specific area with a typically non-sticky, plastic feel. Silt soil has a floury feel when dry, and a slippery feel when wet. Silt soil can be visually observed with a hand lens, exhibiting a sparkly appearance. It can be felt by the tongue as granular when placed on the front teeth (even when mixed with clay particles). They are normally quite fertile and will support a wide range of plants.

Silt soils are beige to black and particles are smaller than sand particles and bigger than clay particles. Though Silt soil has a high mineral composition, predominately quartz, it does not have water holding capacity and should be combined with other soils to be of benefit in the garden.

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Silt soil as the texture of talcum powder and can be washed away in heavy rains. Add organic matter to silt to add weight and develop its water holding capacity. Silt soils fall between clay and sand in terms of particle size and feel smooth, silky or soapy when rubbed between fingers. They could form a fairly cohesive ball in the palm of your hand although they cannot be molded in the same way as clay.

The Silt soils can contain up to 80% silt. Silt soils contain sandy silt loam and silt loam textures. The sand fraction is mostly of very fine sand particles. They have a silky, buttery feel. These soils are formed from glacial, river, marine and wind-blown deposits and usually have deep stone-free subsoils.

Silt soil amendments

The Silt soil amendments are two ways;

Add organic matter – Yearly, amend Silt soil with an inch or so of organic matter such as compost, thoroughly decayed sawdust, or wood shavings. Add organic fertilizers when needed and cover the soil with 2 to 3 inches of mulch. The compost will encourage useful soil biology to thrive for healthier, hardier plants. Also, the organic fertilizer will act as plant food; and the mulch will protect the plants from drought, erosion, and weeds. Make sure you turn over several inches of the top layer of the soil every so often to maintain the soil crumbly and easily manipulated.

Avoid compaction – Because Silt soil is almost as fine as clay, its soil particles could get densely and tightly packed if mishandled. And minimize walking on garden beds to prevent compacting the soil. You can also consider planting on raised beds so you won’t want to step on the soil.

Environmental impacts

Silt is somewhere between the size of sand and clay and is a very important component in the sedimentary dynamics of rivers. Silt comes in many forms. It can be found in the soil underwater or as sediment suspended in river water. Silt is geologically defined by its grain size and texture going through a sieve.

Silt soil is easily transported in water or other liquid and is fine enough to be carried long distances by air in the form of dust. Thick deposits of Silt soil material resulting from deposition by aeolian processes are known as loess. Silt and clay soil contribute to turbidity in water. Silt soil is transported by streams or by water currents in the ocean. When silt appears as a pollutant in water the phenomenon is called siltation. A major source of silt in urban rivers is the disturbance of soil by construction activity.

Watering Silty soil

Silty soil has numerous tiny air spaces where water can pool and therefore it is better at water retention than sandy soil. Because it’s good at holding on to water, Silty tends to become waterlogged like clay soil. To prevent this, avoid overwatering beds and plots.

Overwatering clogs air pockets and lack of breathing space chokes the roots. Too much water in the soil causes rotting roots, which could appear as brown, black, grey, or slimy. Because the roots are damaged, they can’t take in the nutrients needed by the plants to survive. (Besides, working Silty soil while it’s too wet can damage it and like clay soil, may take a long while to rehabilitate.)

Overwatering is generally due to repeated watering but if you’re too wary of drowning plants, there’s a chance that you might be watering too lightly as well. When plants don’t obtain enough water, the roots don’t burrow deep enough so they become prone to drought stress. 

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Plants grown or crops suitable for Silt soil

Growing and gardening with Silty soil is almost always a joy because you can produce a broad array of plants. Some of the plants suitable for Silt soil are;

Some flowers suitable for Silt soil are Yellow iris, Japanese iris, and Swamp milkweed.

Trees and shrubs suitable for Silt soil are Weeping willows, Bald cypress, Red twig dogwood, River birch, Red chokeberry, and American elder.


Hostas typically need shade and thrive in damp soil, which makes them options for Silty soil. Commonly grown for their foliage, over 40 varieties are obtainable.

A hellebore is a group of flowering perennials well-suited for the moist, well-draining conditions presented by Silty soil. Their showy flowers can appear in early spring.

Cranesbill (Geranium spp.), flowering perennials are also known as hardy geraniums, grow in moist soil that drains well, making them well-suited for Silty gardens.

Some types of roses suitable for Silty soil are;

Roses grow well in silt because they prefer soil on the heavy side. Hundreds of rose varieties are obtainable.

‘Polar Ice’ rose (Rosa rugosa ‘Polar Ice’) plant is hardy in USDA zones 2 through 9.

Hedgehog rose (Rosa rugosa var. alba), hardy in USDA zones 2 through 9, works well in cottage gardens. It features simple open flowers.

Lady Banks rose (Rosa banksia ‘Lutea’), with pale-yellow flowers, hardy in USDA zones 7 through 11.

Other Shrubs for Silty soil are Butterfly Bush, Japanese Barberry, and Smoke Tree

Butterfly bush (Buddleja davidii), hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, grows well in silty because it adapts to wet and dry conditions. This shrub is so successful that it is invasive in some areas; keep it pruned and eliminate unwanted seedlings to prevent that problem.

Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 10, produces well in silt soil. With many cultivars to choose from, you must be able to find one that is just right for your landscape.

Smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria), hardy in USDA zones 5 through 8, creates a statement in the landscape with its smoke-like foliage. It grows well in Silty that has good drainage.

Some types of ferns are Male fern and Ostrich fern.

A variety of ferns produce well in the moist, often wet conditions of Silty soil.

Male fern (Dryopteris filix-mas) is a 2 to 3-foot-tall plant for shady areas and it is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8.

Ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris) grows 3 to 6 feet tall and prefers moist, shady areas and it is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 7.

Some types of bulbs are Snowdrop, Daffodils, Crocus, and Snowflake.

Some flowering bulbs are well-suited for Silty soil and their bloom times vary.

Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis), is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 7, blooms in late winter or spring seasons.

Daffodils are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8, flower in early spring or the middle of spring.

Crocus (Crocus vernus), is hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8, flower in early spring.

Snowflake (Leucojum aestivum), is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8, blooms in early to mid-spring.

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On the heavier silt soils, mainly grass, cereals or fruit are grown; yield potential is very high. However, on the drained light silt soils, there are no limitations to crop growth. A wide range of crops can be grown contain wheat, potatoes, sugar beet, vining peas, bulbs and field vegetables. River and marine silt soils in high rainfall areas that are liable to flood are best left in permanent grass.

Characteristics of Silt soils

  • Most Silt soils need some sort of drainage. In coastal areas, there has to be a pumped system for the water table to be lowered and arable crops grown.
  • Potentially very fertile mainly due to their great depth and high available water capacity.
  • Silt soil is a sediment material with an intermediate size between sand and clay. And carried by water during the flood it forms a fertile deposit on valleys floor. The particle size of silt soil ranges from 0.002 and 0.06 mm.
  • Silt soil is a nonplastic or low plasticity material due to its fineness.
  • Silt soil is a medium particle size (somewhere in between clay and sand in terms of size), and silky texture and it is a light soil that is easy to compact.
  • It has decent water retention and decent aeration
  • It’s fairly fertile, although some say it doesn’t hold nutrients as well as a more structured soil like clay soil.
  • It generally needs to be managed in terms of drainage, structure and also nutrients.
  • Silt soil is good for growing a variety of different things with the right management.
  • Silt soil feels smooth when moist and has a floury appearance when dry. Changes shape easily and break apart with slight pressure.
  • Occasionally forms a ribbon when squeezed between fingers and thumb; the length of the ribbon depends on the clay soil content.
  • It has good working properties provided that organic matter is maintained above 3%.

Chemical composition of Silt soils

Silt soil is an aggregation that comes mainly from feldspar and quartz, although some other minerals could also be part of its composition. The erosion of these source minerals by ice and water starts the transformation that eventually turns these broken minerals into silt soil that is no more than 0.002 inches across. Silt, sand, clay, and gravel all mix to form the soil. Silt soil is also determined by the naked eye and touch by its slippery, non-sticky feel when wet, as opposed to clay, sand, or gravel. Silt has a flour-like consistency when dry. Silt soil is found more in semi-dry environments than anywhere else.

Harmful impacts of Silt

Siltation occurs as an effect of human activities that lead to fine soil leaching into nearby rivers. This results in an unnaturally large accumulation of Silt soil that stays in that particular area of that river. Rainstorms may transport these soils into other water sources. Sensitive marine life and freshwater fish can be affected by suspended silt in their native waters. Benthic organisms that are coral, oysters, shrimps, and mussels are especially affected by silt, as they are filter feeders that may become “choked up” by silt-laden waters. Waterways and irrigation canals could become affected in their functions by silt accumulations. And the other harmful impacts of siltation are human health concerns, the loss of wetlands, coastline alterations, and changes in fish migratory patterns.

That’s all folks about properties of silt soil and crops suitable for silt soil. You may be interested in Growing Mirchi in Pots.


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