- Soil is a natural resource that forms the upper layer of the Earth's surface. It is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, water, and air, which provides a medium for plant growth and supports various forms of life.
- Soil plays a critical role in sustaining ecosystems, supporting agriculture, and providing a foundation for human activities. Proper soil management practices, including soil conservation, organic matter addition, and nutrient management, are essential for maintaining soil health and fertility.
- These are derived from the weathering and breakdown of rocks. They provide the physical structure of the soil and contribute to its texture.
- This includes decomposed plant and animal materials, such as leaves, roots, and microorganisms. Organic matter enhances soil fertility, nutrient availability, and water-holding capacity.
WATER & AIR
- Pores in the soil contain water and air, allowing for root respiration and the movement of nutrients.
- Soil provides a medium for plant roots to anchor, access nutrients, and absorb water.
- Soil supports the cycling of nutrients between living organisms, organic matter, and minerals.
- Soil acts as a filter, removing pollutants and impurities from water as it percolates through the soil layers.
HABITAT FOR ORGANISMS
- Soil is home to a diverse range of microorganisms, insects, worms, and other soil-dwelling organisms.
AGRICULTURE & HORTICULTURE
- Soil is essential for crop production, gardening, and landscaping activities.