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What are the components of healthy soil?

Soil is the source for all food and fiber consumed on Earth. It is a medium composed of minerals, organic matter, water, air and living organisms. Why don’t we take a quick look at each of these components to help you get healthy soil?

Minerals –

Healthy soil is comprised of various minerals. Each of these minerals is charged with the task of promoting plant and soil health. Some key minerals in soil include:

  • Carbon – this is the building block of all organic chemistry
  • Calcium – a structural component of the cell wall in plants. In fungi, plants and bacteria, calcium helps to regulate internal chemical processes. Calcium helps to make soil alkaline.
  • Manganese – is essential element of chlorophyll and aids in photosynthesis as a result.
  • Nitrogen – every plant and animal protein contains nitrogen. It’s essential to life on this planet.
  • Potassium – is essential to regulating photosynthesis and water management in plants.
  • Phosphorous – essential to the biochemistry of photosynthesis, metabolism of sugars, energy management, cell division and transfer of genetic material. It’s essential to all life forms
  • Sulfur – an important component of amino acids and proteins.

Organic Matter –

Made up of sticks, leaves, compost and mulch, organic matter breaks down very quickly and needs to be added often to make a healthy soil. This organic matter contributes to soil nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur. The end result of organic matter is humus. Humus is created after microorganisms break down organic matter.

Water –

Roots do not travel to find water; water must travel to them. It’s a solvent and a carrier for plant nutrients. Water is required for metabolic processes of microorganisms in the soil and gives plants life-sustaining liquid.

Air –

About half of the soil volume must consist of space filled with air and/or water. There are gases in soil air. They include: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor. Due to respiration of soil microorganisms, the air in the soil has more carbon dioxide than the air we breathe.

Soil Microorganisms –

More microbes exist in 1/3 cup of soil than there are people on Earth! Soil microorganisms include: bacteria, fungi, protozoa, anthropods, nematodes and worms. Tilled soil, such as that found in your lawn, is more bacterially dominant. Non-tilled soil, like what’s found in the forest, is more fungally dominant.

Want to get healthy soil? Great! Contact Emerald Lawns and we’ll use Mirimichi Green on your lawn to improve your soil’s overall health and longevity. Give us a call today at 512-990-2199

By | 2018-03-14T16:00:59+00:00 July 20th, 2015|carbon, environmentally friendly lawn, essential nutrients, macronutrients and micronutrients, microorganisms, types of soil|Comments Off on What are the components of healthy soil?