Friable Soil – What Is It and Why Is Good For Your Garden? – Green Planet Naturals

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Friable Soil – What Is It and Why Is Good For Your Garden?

Friability (the condition of being friable) is the ability of a solid substance to be reduced to smaller pieces with little effort. The opposite of friable is indurated.  Wikipedia

I mentioned “friability” earlier in my article, 10 Tips for Buying Great Potting Soil.  Friable soil is loamy soil, meaning it is equal parts of sand, silt and clay. It crumbles easily and is easy to work with.  In this same article, I introduce an image of the Soil Chart or Soil Triangle that shows soil types by the proportion of sand, silt, and clay. What’s so great about friable soil? Top of mind is ease for gardeners in working with friable soils. Secondarily, plant roots also love friable soil.  It allows them to grow and prosper easily as well. And, friable soil allows water to penetrate it much more easily.A good way to describe friable soil is to picture digging in loose, easy to shovel soil. When you first open a bag of the best potting soil, it is easy to dig in and move around a new planting. The opposite would be digging in hard, difficult to penetrate, wet clay. The only thing worse might be digging in soil filled with rocks; I have both of these conditions in the soil in my yard so I’ve come to appreciate the quality of friability.For me one test is whether soil remains friable over time. Most of us have purchased soil in a bag at some time or another that was easy to work with initially and then began hardening up over time, after many waterings and sitting through the seasons.

Last year I put in several raised beds, using three Green Planet Naturals planting mixes, mostly Compost with Pumice and Indoor/Outdoor Potting Mix with a splash of Premium Potting Soil around the plant roots. This year, after sitting through the winter, I was delighted that the soils were just as easy to dig in as when I first filled them. You gotta love friable garden soil.  It makes life in the garden so much easier. The pictures to the left are of my spring garden, a great many are plantings from last year.

Linda Brown


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