Improving Your Soil

Top 10 Interesting Facts About Soil

Man digging hole in soil

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.

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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.


      1. Andrew

        Hi Mike. You need to either say (a) ‘They are s***’ or (b) ‘They’re s***’. ‘there s***’ (you should also have used a capital letter) is something a caveman might say if he (or she) spotted some s*** on the ground.

      1. Elijah Matamu

        That really helped me for my Science project for school!!
        These are really easy to understand for younger kids if they had yo come here and use this site I think that it will help them a lot

    1. Elijah Matamu

      I reckon that they will help a lot of people as they have helped everyone on the site. It is a great site with a lot of GREAT FACTS for children or even adults that will needs this for some reason

    1. Andrew

      Hi There. Sorry I missed your comment. I sort of agree with you and perhaps should have made the post more clear. You would expect organic matter to be about 3% for healthy grassland but for growing crops in a vegetable garden you want it to be 5 or 6%. We are a vegetable growers blog which is why I used the higher figure. I am sorry if it was misleading. Andrew

  1. Dat Boi

    Yo Mike Hunt you are the #1…. nice grammar my dude, you were stating what you thought about the facts. But you got the whole comment section to say why you’re wrong and that means you got attention. Keep being you. That is genius.

    1. Andrew

      Hi conwaytwitty
      Cheers, I am glad you found our facts helpful. I will be adding to the article this year as so many guys seem to find good for school projects.

    1. Andrew

      Hey Kaylee, I know some teachers can appear a little dumb but posters can be really cool. Get your facts and some cool pics and its really simple to put together a good looking poster. Here’s a deal for you – put together a good looking poster, share the link with us and we will publish it on our website or facebook page. We are all graphic designers here and we love good looking posters.

      Some advice on making posters here:


  2. Sonny Smith

    These facts were super useful and I highly appreciate the effort and time you put into these facts.
    Also Andrew, you sound like a very cool and chilled dude, so thankyou

  3. Pink Unicorn

    Hey guys (and Andrew),
    I think these facts are super helpful. My year 7 science project. I will def get an A+, thx!
    Also, Andrew, can you add more facts about soil being un-renewable please? Thanks.

    1. Andrew

      Hi Pink Unicorn
      Yes, I will look at updating this article. There are a lot of you guys who find it helpful so very happy to add more info if you need it. I got you got your A+!

  4. Silvana

    Hey, Andrew, this is a great source. Thank you for stating these amazing facts! What could I compare the amount of soil on earth to? I kind of need this for a 7th grade project.

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