Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay in relatively even concentration (about 40-40-20% concentration respectively), considered ideal for gardening and agricultural uses. 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. In addition to the term "loam", different names are given to soils with slightly different proportions of sand, silt, and clay: sandy loam, silty loam, clay loam, sandy clay loam, silty clay loam, and loam.

Loam soil feels mellow and is easy to work over a wide range of moisture conditions. 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 compacted, depleted of organic matter, or has clay dispersed throughout its fine-earth fraction.

Loam soil is ideal for growing crops because it retains nutrients well and retains water while still allowing the water to flow freely. This soil is found in a majority of successful farms in regions around the world known for their fertile land.

In house construction

Loam is also used for the construction of houses. Walls covered inside with a layer of loam work well to control air humidity. Loam, combined with straw, is also a widely-used construction material in poorer countres.

See Also

*Particle size (grain size)

External links

* [http://live.pege.org/2005-romania/loam-straw.htm A family house in Romania built with loam and straw]

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  • Loam — (l[=o]m), n. [AS. l[=a]m; akin to D. leem, G. lehm, and E. lime. See 4th {Lime}.] 1. A kind of soil; an earthy mixture of clay and sand, with organic matter to which its fertility is chiefly due. [1913 Webster] We wash a wall of loam; we labor in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Loam — arenoso. El loam es una roca sedimentaria detrítica incoherente, de granos sueltos, con proporción equilibrada de partículas de arena, limo y arcilla. Por su textura, los suelos de loam son bastante impermeables y retienen fácilmente el agua, con …   Wikipedia Español

  • loam|y — «LOH mee», adjective, loam|i|er, loam|i|est. of or like loam. –loam´i|ness, noun …   Useful english dictionary

  • Loam — Loam, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Loamed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Loaming}.] To cover, smear, or fill with loam. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • loam — loam; loam·i·ness; loam·less; …   English syllables

  • loam — (n.) O.E. lam clay, mud, mire, earth, from P.Gmc. *laimaz (Cf. O.S. lemo, Du. leem, Ger. Lehm loam ), from PIE root * (s)lei slimy (see SLIME (Cf. slime) (n.)). As a type of highly fertile clayey soil, it is attested from 1660s. As a verb from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • loam — [lōm] n. [ME lome < OE lam: see LIME1] 1. a rich soil composed of clay, sand, and some organic matter 2. a mixture of moistened clay, sand, and some organic matter, as straw, used in plastering, making foundry molds, etc. 3. popularly any rich …   English World dictionary

  • Loam — Loam. См. Формовочная глина. (Источник: «Металлы и сплавы. Справочник.» Под редакцией Ю.П. Солнцева; НПО Профессионал , НПО Мир и семья ; Санкт Петербург, 2003 г.) …   Словарь металлургических терминов

  • Loam — (engl., spr. lōm, »Lehm«), s. Erden, S. 2 …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • loam — [ləum US loum] n [U] [: Old English; Origin: lam] good quality soil consisting of sand, clay, and decayed plants >loamy adj …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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