Silty Clay Loam - Translates how in soil types for a Zone

I can’t decide how to define my soil Type. I am trying to figure out what is the right option to select for my soil type. Everything I have found online says that I either have Drummer or Meechum type soil which is classified as Silty Clay Loam. In the zone setting what would that be. Is is silty clay, is it clay loam? is it loam. Not sure what to put as silt as best I can tell is a significant part of my counties and well states mixture. I am in the western burbs of chicago. Thoughts?

@rakote This thread has some great data on the topic.

I just went to this site and validated what I thought I had for soil type (clay loam). I had no idea this existed!

Silty clay and loam have very similar available water capacity (AWC) while clay loam has a little higher, just meaning that your watering durations will be a little bit longer, but watering frequency will be a little bit lower. These only affect flex schedules which is being rolled out as soon as the 2.0 app is approved.

The other thing soil type affects is smart cycle (run off prevention). This article shows the max allowed run time for nozzle, soil, and slope.

Hope this helps!


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@franz It does thanks. I confirmed from that site what I thought as well which confused me more. As I was still not sure how to classify my soil type in rachio. Illinois is almost exclusively a drummer type soil. I was trying to figure out the difference between the three names and I couldn’t understand the coefficient numbers to get as close to what I have. The explanation in English you just gave was perfect. I am going to run it for awhile as silty clay and see what happens if my flexes ever run. I am currently on the beta so I already have them set up.

I was looking at this for my yard. It says that mine is silty clay loam. What do you think is the best option to chose? Silty clay or clay loam?

@chdyson looks like we have the same soil type. As I said I am going to go with silty clay based on @franz’s suggestion that that one is most like loam. Being in Illinois my soil doesn’t match the description for pure loam as far as the feel test of my inexperienced hands

This is my result for Dakota County, MN. I have no idea what kind of soil this is!

Do you all have any idea?

Looks like loam is the winner, lucky you! Nice to grow stuff in :wink:


Thanks Franz,

So based on this, what would you recommend for soil type? Clay loom?

I’d go with Loam.


Cool - thanks! I will do that!

Awesome website, but those of us that are not “soil guys” it’s a little confusing.


Which soil type would you go with here? @franz

i would go with clay loam

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@plainsane For the win.


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Rather old thread, but I have tried to determine my soil with that webpage. It says it is to 83.2% Birome-Rayex-Aubrey complex, 2 to 15 percent slopes. Anyone has an idea what soil I should choose in Rachio for this?

Oh man, that’s a new one. @emil any thoughts on this?

@rwabel What part of the country do you live in? I think a lot of soil types are regional.


North Texas in Denton County. However if I look around my location I see a lot of sandy loam. Also I can see if I scale out clay loam. So it seems it might really be complex :slight_smile:

Thinking clay loam might be your best bet, but I am no means an expert!


@franz I actually checked with some people in the neighborhood and it seems we have Silty Clay. 3 or 4 feet of silty clay that allows water to drain through until it hits the layer of clay under it which once saturated forces the water to run downhill.

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@rwabel, sorry I’m late to your question. Glad to hear your neighbors had some insights.

If you’re ever bored one weekend and want to double check for yourself, I’d recommend trying the mason jar test – see the last page of this white paper.

I hope this helps.

Best, Emil

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sounds like fun…not sure when I really get time to do that on a weekend, but who knows :slight_smile: