What is soil
Soil is formed by erosion that is breaking up of rocks , by the action of sun, wind and rain. It forms at the surface of land and is the “skin of the earth.” Soil is capable of supporting plant life and is vital to life on earth.
Sediment – Every soil contains some mixture of sediments. The three main sediments are sand, silt, and clay. The type of sediments determines a soil’s type. Ideal soils (for farming) are a mixture of the three.
Organic Matter – Soil contains a lot of partially decomposed organisms which is called organic matter. Microbes in the soil break it down to make important nutrients. Most organic matter comes from plants. This is also called Humus and is dark brown or black in color.
Minerals – There are tons of different minerals in the soil. They’re used by plants for growth. When plants die, their minerals return to the Earth.
Types of soil and properties
It is made up of very large grains which do not hold any water between them. They hold a lot of air. Gravel is used to make concrete, for road construction, for mixing with asphalt, as construction fill, and in the production of construction materials like concrete blocks, bricks, and pipes.
In Sandy soil, there are more percentage of sand particles than in the other soil types.
Properties of Sandy soil
1. It is coarse grained
2. It has low plant nutrient
3. It drains easily
4. Sandy soil easily gets hot and cold
5. gray or brown in color
6. It does not support erosion
7. It is highly acidic
8. It does not support waterlogging
9. Leaching is high
This type of soil contains more than 40% Clay particles with a mixture of fine sand and silt.
Properties of clayey soil
1. Made of very fine grains which stick together
2. High water holding capacity but holds very little air
3. Low possibility of leaching
4. It is highly stick when wet.
5. Usually light brown in colour .
6. It supports waterlogging.
7. It is usually fertile and good for farming.
8. It is alkaline and has a high proportion of mineral ions.
This soil is a mixture of sand, clay and silt.
Properties of loamy soil
1. It can hold enough water and air for plant growth
2. It is rich in plant nutrient.
3. It withstands draughts for a fair period of time.
4. It is well aerated.
5. It has high water holding capacity.
6. It is alkaline in nature.
7. It has colours ranging from brown to dark brown or black.
8. It is the best soil for farming
Best crops to grow in Sandy, clayey and loamy soil
Best crops to grow in Sandy soil
Crops varieties such as vegetables, Cowpea, cotton, groundnut, cassava, melon, beans, watermelon etc can be grown in Sandy soil.
Best crops to grow in clayey soil
Cocoyam, Yam, maize, rice, cucumber, tomato, okro, banana, plantain, orange, cocoa, rubber.
Best crops to grow in loamy soil
Maize, cassava, watermelon, tomato, pepper, onions, carrot, yam, potatoes, pineapple, pawpaw, melon.