University of Florida

Florida Soils

To the frustration of many gardeners, Florida's "soil" is mostly sand. This gray, fine soil, called "myakka," covers the majority of the state, and is in fact the official soil of Florida. However, soil properties can vary widely.

The soils of North and Central Florida are typically very sandy. Incorporating compost can increase organic matter and help give plants the moisture and nutrients they need to thrive.

In the panhandle, soils can be sandy or contain substantial amounts of clay. Clayey soils compact more easily and drain slower than sandy soils.

In the northern Everglades, soils tend to be peat-based and extremely fertile. If you live in this area, you may not need to amend your soil.

Finally, in extreme South Florida, soils are often shallow and have a high pH due to the influence of the limestone bedrock.

For best results in any soil, always choose plants that tolerate the site conditions.


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