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Common Soil Types in the Seattle Area & How to Improve Them

Want a flourishing garden or a beautiful yard? It starts with healthy soil. Unfortunately, the common soil types in the Seattle area are not always perfect for growing plants. Nevertheless, there are ways to improve your garden soil, which you’ll learn in this post.

Common Soil Types in The Seattle Area

Generally, the main soil types are sandy soil, clay soil and silt soil. However, the common soil types in the Seattle area are a varying combination of these three soils, with a mix of peat, chalk and volcanic ash.

The resulting soil types are challenging to grow a garden or landscape. Most are loam soil with high clay density that makes them drain poorly, and others with high sandy soil content don’t hold water or nutrients. Hence, you have to improve the soil in your yard to cultivate a thriving garden or landscape your yard.

How to Improve the Soil in Your Seattle Garden or Yard

Here are the critical steps to improving your yard or garden soil in Seattle.

First, Examine Your Soil

This will enable you to determine how and what to improve. Use a shovel to loosen the soil and grab a handful. If it isn’t easy to dig and doesn’t form clumps in your hands, then the clay content is high, and you should add some sand or peat.

On the other hand, if the soil is too gritty and runs through your fingers, you’ll have to adjust the sandy soil content by adding rich clay. The soil color is also vital, as it indicates the organic matter content. Soil that contains a good amount of organic matter will have a dark hue.

Next, Test The Soil

Beyond the physical structure of your garden soil, you also need to test its content. This is especially important if your yard has been previously cultivated. Soil pH test to determine acidity or alkalinity levels is one of the most important tests to conduct. Depending on the result, apply lime to increase the soil pH or sulfur to decrease it.

Then, Go Organic

Although chemical fertilizers can add nutrients to your soil, they are also damaging. So, use organic practices such as composting and mulching to enrich and improve your soil. Composting will add organic nutrients to your soil, while mulching can help control erosion.


You can find more resources on turning poor soil into super soil and improving bad soil on our blog. And, if you need more help improving the soil in your Seattle garden or yard, contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping today!