How Soil Is Formed
Do you ever wonder how soil is formed? Well here is an article which will explain the formation of soil.
Soil is made from four key ingredients:
- Minerals (small stone fragments: clay, silt or sand)
- Organic Matter (decaying plants and animals)
- Water (which the nutrients in the minerals and the organic matter dissolve into)
- Air (which fills the gaps between the mineral and organic matter parts).
Plants feed off nutrients from the mineral and organic matter elements in the soil that have been dissolved or suspended in water in the soil, absorbing these essential elements & nutrients through their root systems.
It is important for a good soil to be well aerated (not compacted), aerated soils have plenty of gaps between the mineral and organic matter particles for roots to grow in, water to move through and bacteria, other micro organisms and insects to live in.
Compacted soils prevent root growth (reducing the growing ability of plants) and become water logged and have less insects and micro organisms within the soil. Insects and micro organisms are essential in soil as it is these that decompose (break down) the organic matter to release their essential plant nutrients.
A fertile soil therefore requires a good mix of mineral and organic matter elements and should not be compacted.
Poor soils can be improved by mixing organic matter in the form of organic composts with the soil, aerating the soil at the same time as adding long lasting nutrients and micro organisms.