Soil is often overlooked even though it is the foundation of a successful vegetable garden. Growing vegetables can be tough on the soil as they are very greedy plants and take all the nutrients and minerals from it. This leaves the soil tired, used and almost useless for growing in. Soil improvers & enriching composts can be used to combat this.
Here is our top 10 (13) list of the most interesting facts about soil…
- There are more microorganisms in a handful of soil than there are people on earth.
- It takes 500 years to produce just under an inch of topsoil, this is the most productive layer of soil.
- It greatly reduces flood risk by storing up to 9200 tonnes of water per acre. In total that’s about 0.01% of the Earth’s total water.
- Soil is a living system.
- Soil acts as a filter for underground water, filtering out pollutants.
- Approximately 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions are stored in soil.
- It provides all the nutrients required for successful plant growth.
- Soil consists of 45% minerals, 25% water, 25% air & 5% organic matter for good garden soil. Uncultivated soil tends to be 3% organic matter.
- As already mentioned 50% is air and water, the other 50% is broken rock and decaying plants and animals.
- The amount of sand, clay and silt is what gives different soil types their various textures. Most soils are a mix of all three.
- Soil has 6 layers called horizons O, A, E, B, C and R. Horizon O is the topsoil and R is bedrock.
- Worms enrich topsoil by feeding on organic material in the soil and converting it into nutrients for plants. As they move through the soil it becomes more absorbent and better aerated too.
- Soil is at the bottom of the food chain, yet it is the cornerstone of life on earth.