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Word Count: 351
Soil and Fertilization Soil is the superficial covering of most of the earths land area This soil is made up of minerals and organic particles produced by organic decay The main components of soil are undissolved inorganic compounds soluble nutrients organic matter water and gases The physical nature of soil is determined by the proportions of different sizes Inorganic particles range from large particles such as stone and gravel to smaller particles The smaller particles or species provide a reservoire for plant nutrients and determine the ability a soil has to store water Organic particles in soil is made up of undecayed plant and animal waste and also a dynamic constantly changing mixture representing every stage in the decay of dead organic matter from the simplest to the most complex The liquid portion of soil called the soil solution is mostly water and contains a large number of minerals including oxygen nitrogen and carbon dioxide Their is an extremely wide range of different types of soils these types of soils vary in appearance fertility and chemical characteristics Color is also a distinguishing factor in the different types of soil The darker soils have a lager amount of humus and are generally more fertile than lighter types of soils The texture of a soil depends on the differently sized particles which can be divided into sand silt and clay Usually sand particles can be seen with the naked eye and normally feel gritty and rough Silt particles are best seen with a microscope and when held they feel like flour Clay particles are also visible to the naked eye and when wet they form a gummy or sticky mass Soils are organized into different classes based on their general characteristics The main soil classification system that is used is based on the form composition and structure of the soil and deals with more specific characteristics such as depth color form structure and composition of soil
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