Have you ever looked at the soil in your garden and considered it as anything more than soil? If not you should because there’s a lot more there than meets the eye. It performs many functions that you might not be aware of and have good quality soil in your garden is essential for your plants. Functions of Soil. The function of soil is a medium. It provides support both biologically and physically. Support is provided by allowing the plant to grow its roots throughout the soil. Support is provided with its capacity to hold nutrients and water the plant needs. It also supports other kinds of life. Insects and microorganisms reside in the soil and they in turn help vegetation by adding structure to the soil and helping decay organic material. What’s Soil Made of? The four important components of soil are mineral matter, organic matter (humus), water and atmosphere. Mineral matter refers to the inorganic components in the dirt e.g. stones, gravel and makes up to 40%-60% of its volume. Types of Soil Texture.
Soil texture is defined as the size distribution of mineral particles that were different. Clay soil contains a high proportion of clay particles and feels lumpy to the touch. The size of the clay particles means that they clump together and there is less room for air spaces. Clay soils have poor drainage and do not hold nutrients. Silty Soil feels smooth to the touch and comprises a high proportion of silt particles. This soil is a well-drained soil due to the size of these particles allowing space for water to permeate. Nutrients are held by this soil more readily than clay soil due to the spaces. It’s easy to cultivate but may be compacted easily. Check out the below mentioned website, if you’re looking for more information about regenerative agriculture.
Sandy soil contains a high proportion of sand particles and feels gritty to the touch, Allows for lots of space between particles and as a result is very free draining. This has its drawbacks however as it doesn’t hold water and nutrients that are essential can get washed away. Loamy soil is. This is soil whose properties are controlled equally by the percentages of sand, silt and clay particles. It’s well drained but doesn’t drop water too easily as is the case with sandy and sometimes silty soils. What Makes a Soil Healthy? Soil must be fertile and have a structure that is fantastic. For a soil it must have a pH value at a level for the plants which will reside in it and nutrients. Nutrients that should be available are the essential nutrients nitrogen and phosphorous for overall health.