Soil Forumlations
Posted by Pat Harper on September 20 2012 08:54:13
The Basics

Soil starts off as stones, broken off from rocks and boulders by the weather or the action of the sea against the coastline. Mixed in with the stones is human and animal waste, and the whole lot is compacted and squashed and crushed against other rocks. The chemicals in water erode the coastline until parts break off; the earth shifts and crushes some more rocks between its tectonic plates; the ice freezes in cracks, in rocks, forcing the cracks ever wider until the rock splits. Dead plant and animal remains are attacked by busy little insects that reduce the waste to smaller and smaller matter, and bacteria go to work reducing this even further. When one looks at different soils in different parts of the country, and in different countries of the world, one can look at the landscape and imagine how is soil formed in those places, are there any special parts of that lands history that create the particular characteristics found in soil, in say Alaska, in comparison to California? As gardeners, we know how soil is formed and are interested in its properties, how acid, how alkali how much of certain trace minerals are present. We need to know this in order best to prepare the soil for planting.

Information On How Soil Is Formed For Kids

If you want to get kids interested in gardening then they need to know the history of the craft, and science, and geography. Gardening can offer a whole curriculum of subjects if one is imaginative about how you teach your children or grandchildren. A great activity when answering the question, "how is soiled formed?" for your kids is to test the pH level of the soil, also do some other soil tests. You can buy soil testing kits that will test for potash, nitrogen and phosphorous plus the pH level. Kids can write the answers in a table and then go about finding good acid or alkali loving plants. They can learn about how to manage a soil that is poor in minerals and which plants are heavy on the soil, i.e. drain nutrients fast and need regular feeding.

Working With Your Soils' History

If you find out about the history of the area that you live in, you may find out more interesting facts about your soil and answer the question, "how is soil formed?" in your area. What makes some parts of your area so rich that if you sneezed, you could grow a cold. Whilst other heavy clay areas are so poor in nutrients, you are considering buying shares in John Innes you spend so much on fertilizer. Every garden tells a story, and your activity in your garden is leaving a footprint on the soil which others may wonder about in years to come.