Soil identification tips provided

Ways for gardening enthusiasts to identify different types of soil have been listed by the Times.

A bucket of water emptied onto the ground will disappear quickly in free-draining soil, lingering more over soil that retains moisture, it notes.

Meanwhile, clay soil will remain compressed after being squeezed in ones hand, while sandy, free-draining soil will not.

Silty soil has a soapy feel, while peat soil is darker and crumbles and chalky soil is stony and white-flecked, the publication notes.

Finally, the best type of soil identified by the Times is loam, said to be "neither too wet nor too dry, easy to dig and full of nutrients".

A soil testing kit can determine whether your earth is acid or alkaline.

The newspaper also warns that building can lead to fertile topsoil being buried under debris while subsoil rises to the top – but notes that such soil can be saved.

To improve any soil, the paper advises "mulch, mulch and more mulch".

The BBC identifies the six types of soil as clay, sandy, silty, peaty, chalky and loamy.