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Introduction to Soil

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Soil is likely the most important part of growing plants. The soil is where plants get their nutrients, it anchors the plants and provides insulation as well as house hundreds of millions of microorganisms.

Why Soil is ImportantEdit

Garden plants can only do as well as the soil in which they are grown. Poor soil will almost guarantee poorly performing plants. The four key aspects of the garden that every gardener should know are:

  • pH - The pH is the measure of the acidity or basicity of a substance, in this case, the soil. Some plants prefer more acidic soil while others prefer more basic soil.
  • Soil Composition - The three main types of soil are clay, sand and silt. The composition of the soil determines how well plants can access water, nutrients, and oxygen.
  • Nutrients - The three macronutrients (Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium) are the most important to plant growth. There are also seven micronutrients (manganese, boron, copper, iron, chlorine, molybdenum, and zinc) that are essential, but they are needed in lesser quantities.
  • Organic Matter - Organic matter is all of the matter that is derived from living organisms both dead and alive. The decomposition of organic material is essential for the production of nitrogen which is otherwise unavailable to plants.

What Affects Your Soil?Edit

Soil CharacteristicsEdit

See: Soil Characteristics

Soil TerminologyEdit

See: Soil Terminology

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