Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration (about 40-40-20% concentration respectively).[1] Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus than sandy soils, have better infiltration and drainage than silty soils, and are easier to till than clay soils. Loams are gritty, moist, and retain water easily.

Although people who are uninformed might ask for topsoil, in fact loam would be the more desirable medium for growing most crops and grasses. Loam is considered ideal for gardening and agricultural uses because it retains nutrients well and retains water while still allowing the water to flow freely.[2] This soil is found in a majority of successful farms in regions around the world known for their fertile land. Loam soil feels soft and rich and is easy to work over a wide range of moisture conditions.There are many different types of loam soils, each with slightly different characteristics, and with some draining liquids more efficiently than others.

Different proportions of sand, silt, and clay give rise to types of loam soils: sandy loam, silty loam, clay loam, sandy clay loam, silty clay loam, and loam.[1] A soil dominated by one or two of the three particle size groups can behave like loam if it has a strong granular structure, promoted by a high content of organic matter. However, a soil that meets the textural definition of loam can lose its characteristic desirable qualities when it is compacted, depleted of organic matter, or has clay dispersed

Loam field. Autor: Otto Normalverbraucher

Use in house construction

Loam may be used for the construction of houses. Construction crews can build a layer of loam on the inside of walls, which can help to control air humidity. Loam, combined with straw, can be used as a rough construction material to build walls. This is one of the oldest technologies for house construction in the world.[3]

See also

  1. ^ abKaufmann, Robert K.; Cutler J. Cleveland (2008). Environmental Science. McGraw-Hill. pp. 318–319. ISBN 978-0-07-298429-5.
  2. ^ B. Rosie Lerner, Purdue University Consumer Horticulture, 01-06-00, "What is Loam?", 03-22-11
  3. ^ Gerhard Koch, ["www.tbe-euro.com/downloads/SustainableBuildingConference-Austria1.pdf Loam Construction"], 03-22-11

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