SOIL RESEARCH sara chaveznava A01570215

Soil is the top layer of the earth’s crust in which organic matter grows. There are many components which determine a soil type such as pH, nutrient level and organic content. These factors can vary depending on the type of plant or crop which grows in the soil and also on geographic location.
Soil composition: refers the type and quantity of substances found in soils. Soil substances occur in four basic components: minerals, organic matter, water and air. The combination of these substances varies among soils but generally consists primarily of minerals followed by equal parts water and air and a small amount of organic matter.

The most important plant nutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P), and potassium (K).

Nitrogen helps above-ground leafy growth and gives dark green color to leaves.

Phosphorous encourages plant cell division. Without phosphorous, flowers and seeds could not form. Phosphorous also helps root growth and protects the plant from disease.

Like phosphorous, potassium increases the plant's resistance to disease and encourages root growth. Potassium is needed for the making of chlorophyll.

It is very important that plants receive all the required nutrients. There are a total of sixteen elements required for plant growth. Each is required in different amounts. The most important nutrients are called macronutrients. The other type is called micronutrients which are essential, but only needed in small quantities.

Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen are the big three macronutrients. These are obtained in almost unlimited amounts from the atmosphere and from the water around the plant. The other macronutrients are nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and sulfur (S).

Micronutrients are obtained from the soil. They are boron (B), copper (Cu), chlorine (Cl), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), molybdenum (Mo), and zinc (Zn). They are all essential because the absence of any one of these will cause the plant to grow poorly or develop disease.
Soil pH or soil reaction is an indication of the acidity or alkalinity of soil and is measured in pH units. Soil pH is defined as the negative logarithm of the hydrogen ion concentration. The pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with pH 7 as the neutral point.
The pH of a soil is crucial because crops grow best in a narrow pH range which can vary among crops. For example, blueberries and a few types of flowers grow best when the pH is 5.5 or less but most garden vegetables (listed on the list below) grow best when the soil pH is over 6.0 or 6.5.
Liming is the application of calcium- and magnesium-rich materials to soil in various forms, including marl, chalk, limestone, or hydrated lime. This neutralises soil acidity and increases activity of soil bacteria.
Also, when the soil has very high pH and need to be made more acidic. This can be done by using sulfur, aluminum sulfate, or ammonium sulfate.


1. Sandy

2. Chalky

3. Humus bearing

4. Stony

5. Clayish

6. Mixed


Sand is the largest particle in the soil. It contains sharp edges. Sand doesn't hold many nutrients.

Chalky Soil

They are constantly alkaline. Chalk is a solid, with a delicate shake it separates effortlessly. It is free draining, and chalky soils hold little water and dry out effectively.

Chalky soils are fertile, however a large number of the nutrients are not accessible to plants on account of the high alkalinity of the dirt, which prevents the absorption of iron by plant roots.


Humus refers to the fraction of soil organic matter that is amorphous and without the "cellular cake structure characteristic of plants, micro-organisms or animals."Humus significantly influences the bulk density of soil and contributes to moisture and nutrient retention.


It is composed by rocks, it lacks of nutrients and it is very difficult to grow in this type of soil.


The clay forms a heavy mass which makes it difficult for air, water and plant roots to move through the soil when wet. Once dry they form rock-hard clots. Blue or grey clays have poor aeration and must be loosened in order to support healthy growth. Red color in clay soil indicates good aeration and a "loose" soil that drains well. Plants can take advantage of the high level of nutrients if drainage is adequate.


It is a mixture of clay, sand and chalk. They are very fertile and secular generate simple clumps that can be easily separated.

...........................................REFERENCES............................................Stony ground... (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2017, from What is soil composition? (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2017, from Soil Types. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2017, from
Created By
Sara Chaveznava


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