Soils are complex mixtures of minerals, air and organic matter. It forms at surface of land. Soil is capable of supporting plant life and is vital to life on earth. Soils serve as media for growth of all kinds of plants. Soils modify the atmosphere by emitting and absorbing gases and dust. Soils absorbs, hold, release, alter and purify most of the water in terrestrial systems. Soils acts as a living filter to clean water before it moves into an aquifer.
There are different types of soil each with its own set of characteristics. It is a medium for plant growth, it is a means of water storage, supply and purification. It is a modifier of earth is atmosphere. Soils are often treated as a there state system of solids, liquids and gases. Soil is major component of earth ecosystem. Soils can effectively remove impurities, kill disease agents and degrade contaminants this latter property being called natural attenuation. Soils provide readily available nutrients to plants and animals by converting dead organic matter into various nutrient forms.
A typical soil is about 50% solids and 50% voids of which half is occupied by water and half by the gas. The pore allows for the infiltration and movement of air and water, both which are critical for life in soil. The biological influences on soil properties increase with depth. The soil texture is determined by the relative proportions of individual particles of sand, silt and clay that make up the soil. A soil can be said to be developed and can be described further in terms of color, porosity, consistency and reaction. The atmosphere of soil is radically different from the atmosphere above. Soil particles can be classified by the chemical composition as well as their size. The mineralogy of the tinest soil particles, clay is especially important.
Types of Soil-
1) Sandy soil-
Sandy soil has the largest particles among the different soil types. It is dry and because of the particles have huge spaces between them, it can’t hold on to water. Water drains rapidly, straight through to places where the roots, particularly those of seedlings cannot reach. The upside to sandy soil is that it’s light to work with and warms much more quickly in the spring.
2) Clay soil-
Clay soil has the smallest particles among the three so it has good water storage qualities. During the summer months, it could turn hard and compact, making it difficult to turn. If moistened feels sticky, rolls up easily and forms into a ball or sausage like shape the you have to got yourself clay.
3) Peaty soil-
Peaty soil is dark brown or black in color, soft easily compressed due to its high water content and rich is organic matter. Peaty contains acidic water but growers use it regulate soil chemistry or pH levels as well as an agent of disease control for the soil. When wet peat soil is rolled, you wan’t form a ball. It’s spongy to the touch and when squeezes water could be forced out.
4) Silty soil-
Silty soil has much smaller particles than sandy soil so its smooth to the touch. Silty soil retains water longer but it can’t hold on to as much nutrients as you the want it do through its fairly fertile. Due to its moisture retentive quality silty soil is cold and drains poorly.
5) Saline soil-
The soil in extremely dry regions is usually brackish because of its high salt content known as saline soil. The salinity is due to the buildup of the soluble salts in the rhizosphere- high salt contents prevent water uptake by plants, leading to drought stress. It’s easy enough to test if you have saline soil.