What is the function of soil in our yards and gardens? Simply put, soil provides plants with mineral nutrients, water and anchorage. The basic types of soil are clay, sand, and silt. The percentage of each determines whether you have sandy clay loam, silt, loam, etc. There are so many variables that affect soil that your yard may have a different soil type than the one across the street.
Some soil properties that are influenced by the texture of soil include aeration, drainage, water holding capacity and temperature. For example, sandy soil has excellent aeration, warms quickly in spring and has a low water-holding capacity. The exact opposite is true for clay. It has poor aeration, warms slowly, and has high water-holding capacity.
Here are the four major components of soil:
The solid portion, or rocks and minerals Decaying organic matter, microorganisms, living or dead plants and other organic matter Liquid Soil air
Amounts of each of these components determine whether or not plants will grow and thrive in the soil. Ideal or perfect soil consists of 25% air, 25% water, 40% mineral matter and 10% organic matter. As you already know, this never happens!
However, what we do to improve our soil will affect our plants.
You can re-mineralize your soil by adding Minerals Plus or Texas Greensand. You can increase organic matter by adding a good organic compost. This also increases earthworm activity and beneficial bacterial growth. Spray-N-Grow increases microbial activity that helps keep air and water moving in the soil. To find out more about your soil, use the Sunleaves Three Way Meter. It allows you to test your soil for pH, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and will give you immediate results.
Naturally, some soil needs more work than others, but with a little work and some good organic garden products, you can pretend that your soil is perfect! All of the gardening products listed in this article can be purchased from Spray-N-Grow.