Soil And Fertilization Essay, Research Paper
Soil and Fertilization
Soil is the superficial covering of most of the earth s land area. This soil is made up of minerals and organic particles produced by organic decay. The main components of soil are undissolved inorganic compounds, soluble nutrients, organic matter, water, and gases. The physical nature of soil is determined by the proportions of different sizes. Inorganic particles range from large particles such as stone and gravel, to smaller particles. The smaller particles or species provide a reservoire for plant nutrients and determine the ability a soil has to store water. Organic particles in soil, is made up of undecayed plant and animal waste and also a dynamic, constantly changing mixture representing every stage in the decay of dead organic matter, from the simplest to the most complex. The liquid portion of soil, called the soil solution, is mostly water and contains a large number of minerals including oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
Their is an extremely wide range of different types of soils. these types of soils vary in appearance, fertility, and chemical characteristics. Color is also a distinguishing factor in the different types of soil. The darker soils have a lager amount of humus and are generally more fertile than lighter types of soils. The texture of a soil depends on the differently sized particles, which can be divided into sand, silt, and clay. Usually, sand particles can be seen with the naked eye and normally feel gritty and rough. Silt particles are best seen with a microscope and when held they feel like flour. Clay particles are also visible to the naked eye and when wet, they form a gummy or sticky mass.
Soils are organized into different classes based on their general characteristics. The main soil classification system that is used is based on the form, composition, and structure of the soil, and deals with more specific characteristics such as depth, color, form, structure, and composition of soil. Most soils have characteristic layers. The nature, number, thickness, and arrangement of these layers are also important in the classification and identification of different types of soils.