Soil properties

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Soil properties

  1. 1. Soil Properties By: Johnny M. Jessup Agriculture Teacher/FFA Advisor
  2. 2. What is Soil? • Is the top layer of the Earth’s surface suitable for the growth of plant life.
  3. 3. The Soil Profile • Soil Horizon • They are the layers of the different types of soil found at different depths in the soil profile. • Soil Profile • A vertical section through the soil extending into the unweathered parent materials and exposing all the horizons.
  4. 4. Master Horizons • Are the A, B and C horizons. • Typically found in most soils • They are a part of a system for naming soil horizons in which each layer is identified by a code O, A, E, B, C & R.
  5. 5. The Horizons • The O Horizon • The organic layer made of wholly or partially decayed plant material and animal debris. • Normally found in a forest with fallen leaves, branches and other debris.
  6. 6. The Horizons • The A Horizon • Also called the topsoil. • The most fertile layer of soil. • Contains the most organic matter. • Usually the top or first layer.
  7. 7. The Horizons • The E Horizon • Also called the layer of eluviation. • This is the zone of the greatest leaching of clay, chemicals and organic matter.
  8. 8. The Horizons • The B Horizon • Also called the subsoil. • Called the zone of accumulation where chemicals leached out of the A horizon. • Reason why most subsoil has an increase in clay content.
  9. 9. The Horizons • The C Horizon • Called the parent material. • Lacks the properties of the A & B horizon. • Less touched by soil forming processes.
  10. 10. The Horizons • R Horizon • Is the underlying bedrock such as…. • Limestone • Sandstone • Granite
  11. 11. Soil Profiles
  12. 12. Soil Texture • Refers to the size of particles. • Three types are…. • Sand (Large) • Silt (Medium) • Clay (Small)
  13. 13. Relative Size of Soil Particles
  14. 14. Soil Texture - Sandy • The largest of the soil particles. • Individual particles can be seen with the naked eye. • Low moisture-holding capacity.
  15. 15. Soil Texture - Loamy • About equal parts of…. • Sand • Silt • Clay • Ideal texture for most non-container outside plants.
  16. 16. Soil Texture - Clayey • The smallest of the soil particles. • Clay particles stick to one another. • Has a high water- holding capacity.
  17. 17. Textural Classes • There are 12 textural classes. • Represented on the Soil Texture Triangle. • Textural class determined by the percentage of sand, silt, & clay.
  18. 18. Soil Structure • Refers to the way soil particles cling together to form soil units or aggregates, while leaving pore space to…. • Store air. • Store water. • Store nutrients. • Allow root penetration.
  19. 19. Types of Soil Structures • There are five types of soil structures. • They are: • Single grain • Granular • Platy • Blocky • Prismatic
  20. 20. Soil Structure – Single Grain • Associated with sandy soils.
  21. 21. Soil Structure - Granular • Is the best for most plants. • Particles cling together to form rounded aggregates. • It is commonly found in A horizons. • Peds are small usually between 1 to 10 millimeters.
  22. 22. Soil Structure - Platy • Usually found in E horizons. • Large, thin peds. • Plate-like & arranged in overlapping horizontal layers.
  23. 23. Soil Structure - Blocky • Particles cling together in angular aggregates. • Typical of soils with high clay content. • Typical of B horizons. • Peds are large about 5 to 50 millimeters.
  24. 24. Soil Structure - Massive • Soil has no visible structure. • Hard to break apart & appears in very large clods.
  25. 25. Soil Structure • More important to producers who grow plants in natural soils because…. • Producers of container grown plants add ingredients to make growing media desirable.
  26. 26. Soil Composition • About 50% of the soil should be solid particles. • 45% - Minerals • 5% - Organic Matter • About 50% of soil should be pore space. • 25% - Air/Pore Space • 25% - Water
  27. 27. Soil pH • pH has the most impact on the availability of nutrients in the soil/media. • pH Scale • Ranges from 0 to 15. • Indicates the level of acidity or alkalinity. • 7 is considered neutral. • Everything greater than 7 is considered alkaline (basic). • Everything less than 7 is considered acidic.
  28. 28. pH Scale
  29. 29. Ideal pH • The ideal pH of most ornamental plants & lawn/turfgrasses is 5.5 to 7.0.
  30. 30. Ph Scale Review • What would be a pH of 7.0? • Neutral. • What would a Ph pf 3.5 be? • Acidic. • What would a pH of 9.0 be? • Alkaline.
  31. 31. Land Capability • Based on the physical, chemical, and topographical aspects of the land.
  32. 32. Land Capability Classes • Assigning a number to land. • Eight classes used. • I to VIII with I having the best arability. • Class I to IV can be cultivated. • V to VIII tend to have high slope or are low & wet.
  33. 33. Land Capability Classes • Class I - Very good land. • Very few limitations. • Deep soil and nearly level. • Can be cropped every year as long as land is taken care of. • Class II - Good land • Has deep soil. • May require moderate attention to conservation practices.
  34. 34. Land Capability Classes • Class III - moderately good land. • Crops must be more carefully selected. • Often gently sloping hills. • Terraces and strip-cropping are more often used. • Class IV - fairly good land. • Lowest class cultivated. • On hills with more slope than class III. • Class V - Unsuited for cultivation. • Can be used for pasture crops and cattle grazing, hay crops or tree farming. • Often used for wildlife or recreation areas.
  35. 35. Land Capability Classes • Class VI - Not suited for row crops. • Too much slope. • Usually damaged by erosion with gullies. • Can be used for trees, wildlife habitat, and recreation. • Class VII - Highly unsuited for cultivation. • Has severe limitations. • Best used for planting trees. • Steeply sloping. • Large rock surfaces and boulders may be found. • Very little soil present.
  36. 36. Land Capability Classes • Class VIII – Cannot be use for commercial plants. • Cannot be used for row crops or other crops. • Often lowland covered with water. • Soil maybe wet or high in clay. • Best suited for wildlife & recreation.
  37. 37. Designed By: • Johnny M. Jessup, FFA Advisor • Hobbton High School

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