There is not a whole lot of plants going on behind me because it’s still early spring but that’s okay because the first lesson always has to be about soil anyway and the thing I really like to always start talking about is what is soil made of, how does it form, just a quick look at this because isn’t given the respect it deserves in a lot of circles, certainly in organic gardening we think a lot differently let’s have a look at our soil here. Furthermore, soil does not have a uniform depth around the world. If I have a clay soil getting that organic matter in there is gonna allow to get more air because the roots need air in the soil food bed needs air. These divisions of layers are called the soil profile. They are decomposed by microorganisms, fungi, bacteria and earthworms, which release nitrogen and sulphur that can be used by the plants. If the mulch is very woody, you’ll probably want to supply your plants with extra nitrogen (fish or organic alfalfa pellets, for example). How to Make Loamy Soil. If you have the species of weeds that corn gluten works with, I like it. Soil is formed by a combination of factors like climate, weathering a parent rocks, living organisms over a period of time. These four ingredients react with one another in amazing ways, making soil one of our planet’s most dynamic and important natural resources. Compaction is a chemistry problem more so than a physics problem, which is why the fertility matters. Then come the living organisms, the microorganisms and plants that work together to gradually turn lifeless dirt into a thriving ecosystem. So really we are gonna be talking about organic matter a lot during this course, so that is just a little introduction to soil. Soil can be black, brown, red, yellow, or gray. Clay is one of the smallest of all natural soil particles, and it tends to pack tightly together … Hi Phil , I am organic gardener with raised bed and lot of organic matter is being added . Even a very thin application is very helpful for the soil. We are in Piedmont NC and have horrible clay soil. It is essential for plant growth and for the survival of other living organisms in the soil. Soil is a combination of both living and non-living materials. How do hard rocks become soft soil? They feel gritty and can be seen with the naked. And for more information on how to improve the nutrition and biological diversity of your soil, check out my organic fertilizing guide. Feel free to check out my fertilizing guide, or if you have any questions about soil, let me know below…, Thank you Phil, it is helpful to know few fundamentals. How Is Soil Formed And How Many Layers Does It Have? This happens over thousands of years to create the beginnings of soil, but it’s still lifeless. It allows a lot of air in there but doesn’t hold water very well. Soil also contains countless living organisms. It seems to me if you’re buying it from a bulk food place that it would still be very expensive for a gardening application, but if you can really get it very affordably, I think it would be worth a try if your soil is sandy. It’s gonna allow it to resist compaction too and you know there is so many other things that organic matter does, resisting erosion providing nutrients all kinds of cool stuff. The organic matter comes from dead plants and many of the minerals come from the rocks underground. It is possible to over-farm soil and remove so much of its nutrients and organic matter that … Areas where bedrock is exposed, no soil exists, but in other areas, soil can go as deep as 10 meters below the surface. Why Are Laptops Getting Lighter And Slimmer? Look at a cricket ground, for example. Ideally, you’ll send a soil sample to a good organic soil lab and they will help you figure out how to balance your soil fertility with a few fertilizers specifically for your situation. How Do Butterflies Taste And Eat Their Food? The clay soil was amazingly loose. I have been reading your info on soils and I fully agree with you on building the soil with organic matter. Phil,How do you feel about using liquid Corn gluten to keep weed seeds from germinating? The cricket pitch is made from clay soil. The steepness, shape and length of slopes will determine how water flows into or off the soil. Soil is made up of minerals, rock particles and bits of decayed plants and animals 2. Once it has been processed to have a fine, loose consistency, it is packaged or sold in bulk. Amending soil with peat moss helps keep the soil moist and release moisture when the plant needs it. Improving sandy or clay soil may take time and labor, but it is at least less brain-taxing than working out how much garden lime … Soil Horizons (layers): Soil is made up of distinct horizontal layers; these layers are called horizons. I haven’t heard of that. Why Are There Stones Alongside Railway Tracks? size of rock particles in it, color, texture 4. The longer the soil is exposed to the soil-forming factors mentioned above, the greater will be the development and composition of the soil. When the fertility starts to come in line, insect pressure will decrease. Soil acidity (and acidity of anything else, for that matter) is measured on a scale of 1 to 14. My soil in my veg garden has a green slimy surface which, I suppose, means it is too acidic. I have sand and can only grow moss!! Time is responsible for horizon formation. It starts as rock and then over thousands of years you have wind coming in, you have rain coming down, you have chemical reactions that occur and you have a temperature changes, freezing and staying in hot temperatures and gradually it gets broken down, a lot of this is very physical and mechanical a little bit of chemical too but the thing it doesn’t get talked about is much is the biology, so the biology is when plants start to come in, there is just enough soil that little plants can come and little microorganisms to come in and they work together often to start to produce even better soil and soil that has a little bit of organic matter in there and so that part is really important and that’s what we talk about inorganic garden, now what I want to talk about today is I just want to get inside all our heads that we are talking about soil as a vibrant community. My recommendation is to buy compost instead of soil. The Perfect Homemade Potting Soil Recipe Warm and moist climates, such as those found in the tropics, accelerate plant growth and organic matter production, as compared to cold climates where growth is slow and cautious. Topsoil is the layer of soil that prevails on the surface of the earth, typically up to 8 inches or more depending on conditions. These layers are known as soil horizons. What is soil made up of? Many soil textbooks that answer the question ‘what is soil made of’ focus on the sand, silt and clay, and while these certainly are by far the most prominent part of the soil, a little bit of organic matter makes a world of difference. Is there a specific brand of gardening soil you recommend we use for the pots? Phil: Hey guys it’s Phil from smilinggardener.com. There are three basic soil particle sizes: sand is the biggest, followed by silt (which is like sand but a lot smaller) and finally clay particles, which are WAY smaller and quite different from the first two. Have you heard of using psyllium husks to hold water in the soil? we think that our soil is mixture of sand and clay . Yes, as far as I can tell, Azomite is okay. These factors are climate, living organisms, landscape positions and parent material. Soil can be black, brown, red, yellow, or gray. Where did I go wrong , please help, Hi Pete, it’s hard for me to know from here, but if insects are eating most of your plants, the soil and/or plants aren’t very healthy. This explains the name ‘parent’, because these materials generate their offspring—the soil. Why Is It So Special? I did know that sand doesn’t hold water well but how to build the soil to be healthy and happy is something I know nothing about and am looking forward to learning from you! I rented a sod cutter to cut the crab grass from it’s roots. I do not plan on watering once established. Organic matter decays and mixes with inorganic material (rock particles, minerals and water) to form soil. 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