Soil

Definition - What does Soil mean?

Soil, often called the Skin of the Earth, is a mixture of decaying organic matter (humus), minerals, liquids, and many countless living organisms. Soil covering the Earth is a medium for plant growth and a means of water storage. A particular soil’s texture, mineral composition, fertility, and consistency can vary from location to location.

MaximumYield explains Soil

Organisms living in the soil need water and air to thrive. These essential elements, along with the living organisms, make it possible for small animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi to live in the soil.

Soil is a key component of traditional agriculture. The two most important properties of soil, particularly in agriculture, are its ability to hold or drain water, and its nutrient composition. Additionally, all soil contains a varying mixture of three types of rock particles: clay, sand, and silt.

Different combinations of air, water, organic matter, and materials result in different soils. There are five basic soil types that most gardeners work with. These soil types are sandy, silty, clay, peaty, and saline. Each soil type varies in how it holds water, how it is managed, and how compact it is.

For example, sandy soils have a low water-holding capacity, whereas soils high in clay can have a very high water-holding capacity. The last and most ideal of soil types is loamy soil. Loamy soil is dark in color, drains well, and allows air to move freely around plant roots.

Again, as soil is an important element in the health and vitality of plants, gardeners and farmers should take care in knowing what type of soils they are using.

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