Difference between sand and clay soil
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Sandy soils cover approximately 900 million ha worldwide particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. There are extensive areas of sandy soils under cultivation, but the soil fertility is often low and dependent on the levels of soil organic carbon (SOC). Here, we review SOC levels of sandy soils across the world using pedon databases, data from literature, and three detailed case studies.
Sandy Soil is light, warm, dry and tend to be acidic and low in nutrients. Sandy soils are often known as light soils due to their high proportion of sand and little clay (clay weighs more than sand). These soils have quick water drainage and are easy to work with.
The largest, coarsest mineral particles are sand. These particles are 2.00 to 0.05 mm in diameter and feel gritty when rubbed between your fingers. Silt particles are 0.05 to 0.002 mm and feel similar to flour when dry. Clay particles are extremely fine — smaller than 0.002 mm.
Sandy soils are often known as light soils due to their high proportion of sand and little clay (clay weighs more than sand). They are quicker to warm up in spring than clay soils but tend to dry out in summer and suffer from low nutrients that are washed away by rain.