How can you tell if your soil is providing the right nutrients for your plants? Plants can suffer all kinds of problems and even die if they aren't in fertile enough soil. Different species have different requirement, but across the board there are two critically important factors anyone can track (primary macronutrients and pH), and two other factors that need to be measured professionally, but are less likely to cause you problems (other nutrients and cation exchange capacity).
Now we begin our final lesson on dirt. I've had a lot of fun teaching you about the essentials of soil science, and I hope you've learned some lessons you can apply in your yard. This information is vital to the proper planning and maintenance of any landscape. If you're new to the blog and would like to catch up on earlier lessons to understand this one better, click these links to see the Intro, Physical Qualities of Soil, and Soil Chemistry and Biology. I'm willing to bet that most of you reading this blog live in an urban or suburban area, and if so you have some special challenges to deal with.
Today we delve into soil chemistry and biology. If you dreaded chemistry in school, fear not - there will be no chemical equations or molecular formulae or anything like that, just a few topics I think are essential for understanding your soil. The biology section will take a brief glimpse at all the life, both visible, and microscopic, in your soil, and how most of it interacts with your plants in a beneficial way.
Are you excited to learn more about soil? I hope you are! Today we'll talk about three physical characteristics of soil: texture, structure, and color. Soil texture refers to the ratios of different sized soil particles. These particles come in three types: sand, silt, and clay. Soil texture refers to the ratios of different sized soil particles.