Another way to study soil components is the Squeeze Test.
Grab a small handful of soil. Make a fist and release.
Sand: If the soil falls apart and feels gritty, it is sand. Sandy soil has quick drainage and low nutrient levels, requiring frequent watering and fertilization.
Silt: If the soil has a slippery texture and slides apart, it has a high percentage of silt. Silty soil has poor drainage and moderate ability to retain nutrients.
Clay: If the soil retains it shape after it is squeezed and is sticky when wet it is mostly clay. Clay is rock-hard when dry; it can store nutrients, but roots and water have difficulty penetrating it.
Loam: Loam is a mixture of all three of these particles. It has a crumbly texture with some grittiness and some stickiness.