What are the different types of soil used in farming?

Each one has different properties and it's important to know them in order to make the best decisions and get the most out of your garden. The main advantage of the sandy type is that it is suitable for early sowing, since it is the first to warm up after winter. Not too prone to erosion due to the large size of the particles. Sandy soil has a loose structure that makes it easy to till.

For the same reason, water quickly seeps into the lower layers of the soil, carrying nutrients with it. In addition, the gritty type is usually acidic, meaning it has a low pH level. Therefore, plants that grow in sandy soils may lack the nutrients and moisture needed for their growth. The combination of mineral fractions (particles of gravel, sand, silt and clay) and the organic matter fraction give the soil its texture.

Texture grades depend on the amount of clay, sand, silt and organic matter present. The solid part of the soil is made up of particles such as organic matter, silt, sand and clay that form aggregates. The aggregates are held together by particles of clay and organic matter. Organic matter is one of the main cementing agents of soil aggregates.

The size and shape of the aggregates give the soil a characteristic called soil structure. With a higher clay content, the structural strength of the soil increases, but its drainage capacity often decreases. Heavy clays can retain large amounts of water and, since infiltration rates are slow, they tend not to have good drainage, unlike sandy or loamy soils with zero clay content or lower clay content. Absorption is the decomposition of aggregates, by wetting them, into smaller particles.

Damping generally occurs when heavy rains hit dry soil, aggregates collapse as a result of pressure created by the swelling of clay and the expansion and escape of trapped air. This process can clog pore spaces and, when the soil dries out, a crust forms, causing problems with infiltration and seedling emergence. Lighter colored soils can generally indicate low fertility, for example white sand. Whereas darker soils (such as black clays) are quite fertile.

There is a great variety in between. Clays have very large surface areas compared to other inorganic fractions. As a result, clays are chemically very active and capable of retaining nutrients on their surfaces. These nutrients can be released into soil water for use by plants.

Like nutrients, water also adheres to clay surfaces, but this water can be difficult for plants to use. There are many different types of clays. Clays are distinguished from sand and silt by their ability to swell and retain the shape in which they formed, as well as by their sticky nature. The relative proportion of sand, silt and clay particles determines the physical properties of the soil, including texture.

The surface area of a given amount of soil increases significantly as the size of the particles decreases. Consequently, the soil texture class also gives an indication of the chemical properties of the soil. The exact proportions of sand, silt and clay in a soil can only be determined in a laboratory. However, a naming system has been developed to roughly describe relative proportions.

This soil classification can be performed in the field, where the particular properties indicate possible texture classes. Then it is important to form a ribbon from the bolus to determine the clay content of the soil. The longer the tape, the higher the clay content. The length of the tape is measured with a ruler and, together with the behavior of the floor, can be compared with the descriptions in the floor texture table.

This table will help you evaluate the texture of the floor. The inorganic minerals in soils are mainly composed of silicon, iron and aluminum, which do not contribute much to the nutritional needs of plants. Those found in the clay fraction have the ability to retain nutrients in ways that are potentially available for plants to use. Place a good spoonful of soil in a large bowl of water, stir it and let it sit for about 10 to 12 hours.

Another key component of healthy soils is its richness in organisms and networks of mycorrhizal fungi similar to those of life, beneficial bacteria and a diversity of insect species. The decay rate of organic materials depends on how favorable the soil environment is for microbial activity. Consider which crops are native to your area and how they might adapt well to both your soil and your climate, and perform soil tests to better understand the specific characteristics of soil chemistry. Soil fertility and biodiversity are directly related to crop productivity and nutrition, and determine the long-term agricultural productivity of a land.

Most fruits and vegetables grow very well in clay soils, however, since their composition is a somewhat delicate balance between three other types of soil, it is necessary to maintain it well to prevent a component from taking hold and tipping the scale. Soil structure influences plant growth by affecting the movement of water, air and nutrients to plants. Soil texture is a property that is largely determined by the relative proportions of inorganic particles of different sizes. Using your specific type of soil to your advantage depends on the crops you're trying to grow and their preferred conditions, but regardless of the type of soil you have, you should make sure you manage it using good and healthy soil management techniques.

It is not only the type of soil that affects the structure and drainage, but also the activities or environmental factors that occur in them. Sandy soils are one of the poorest types of soil for growing plants because they have very few nutrients and little water retention capacity, making it difficult for plant roots to absorb water. From a general perspective, “soil” is a very broad term and refers to the loose layer of earth that covers the planet's surface. This is one of the most desirable and fertile types of soil due to its “best of both worlds” characteristics, meaning that it contains the benefits of all three types of soil that comprise it.

Crop rotation is one of the best things for this soil, as it prevents the repeated seeding of a single heavy feeder from exhausting all of its beneficial characteristics. .

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