Soil Mineral

Definition - What does Soil Mineral mean?

Soil is basically a mixture of organic matter, liquids, minerals, gases, organisms, and microorganisms. All of the components of this mixture work together to support plant life and allow plants to thrive. Soil minerals perform a number of functions, including helping plants absorb water, adjusting soil pH, and providing nutrients to plants. Of all of the minerals found in soil, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium are the three most important that plants actively extract from the soil as nutrients. Correcting soil mineral content is an important part of raising healthy plants.

MaximumYield explains Soil Mineral

Soil minerals can do a lot to improve the soil for different plants, especially in an indoor garden. For example, if the local soil is too basic for plants to properly absorb water and nutrients, lime can be added to make it more acidic. If the soil is too acidic, it can be made more basic with sulfur.

A good balance of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium is required to help plants grow and thrive. For example, while nitrogen is essential for the growth of leaves and stems, too much of it can delay flowering and/or stunt a plant’s growth. If a plant is showing retarded growth and/or purplish stems and leaves, it is likely that the soil is too low in phosphorous. If the leaves are spotted and mottled, and fruit yields are lower than expected, the soil may have a potassium deficiency.

Simply adding more of the deficient nutrient is not always the best solution to improve soil minerals, though. For example, a common rock mineral fertilizer is available to correct nitrogen deficient soil, but if the soil is already acidic, adding this mineral alone is not a good idea, as this fertilizer will increase the soil’s pH. To correct this, a significant amount of lime is also necessary.

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