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All All About 
About 
Soil 
Soil 
4.7A
Soil can basically be separated 
into 5 main parts: 
1. Humus 
2. Clay 
3. Silt 
4. Sand 
5. Gravel
Humus: A dark, moist soil composed of bits of 
dead, rotting insects, animals, leaves, roots, sticks, 
and food. Humus adds nutrients to the soil which 
plants need to grow and live.
Clay: A soil that holds water. When wet, clay feels 
slippery and slimy. It is made of particles that are 
smaller than 0.004 millimeters.
Silt: Soil that looks like fine grains or tiny pieces of 
rock. Particles classified as silt measure from 
0.004 millimeters to 0.006 millimeters.
Sand: Soil that is coarse and drains quickly. Sand 
particles measure from about 0.006 millimeters to 
2.00 millimeters.
Gravel: Visible rock particles, sometimes referred 
to as pebbles.
Soil Profiles 
• A soil profile is a view of 
a cross section of soil. 
• Most living material 
exists in the top section, 
or topsoil. 
• Plant roots often extend 
into the second layer, 
called the subsoil. 
• The bottom two layers 
consist mostly of rock.
Characteristics of Soil Horizons 
• 0 Horizon-located on surface, mostly O.M. (organic materials) 
• A Horizon-Called Topsoil, good amounts of O.M. and minerals. 
• B Horizon- Known as Subsoil, Less O.M. 
• C Horizon- Mostly parent material, does little for plant growth.
Soil Texture 
Soil texture is the 
relative sizes of the 
different soil particles.
Major Soil Texture Classes 
• Sand is the largest particle. 
• Silt is a medium-sized 
particle. 
• Clay is the smallest particle 
in size.
Characteristics of a 
Sandy Soil
Characteristics of a 
Silty Soil
Characteristics of a Clay Soil
Soil Structure 
• Sand, silt and clay 
particles combine with 
one anther to form 
cluster called 
aggregates. 
• The way in which 
aggregates or clusters 
are arranged is 
referred to as soil 
structure.
Soil Structure Categories
Modified from a presentation by Carrie 
Nagle, Mecklenberg Public Schools.

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All about soil 4.7 a

  • 1. All All About About Soil Soil 4.7A
  • 2. Soil can basically be separated into 5 main parts: 1. Humus 2. Clay 3. Silt 4. Sand 5. Gravel
  • 3. Humus: A dark, moist soil composed of bits of dead, rotting insects, animals, leaves, roots, sticks, and food. Humus adds nutrients to the soil which plants need to grow and live.
  • 4. Clay: A soil that holds water. When wet, clay feels slippery and slimy. It is made of particles that are smaller than 0.004 millimeters.
  • 5. Silt: Soil that looks like fine grains or tiny pieces of rock. Particles classified as silt measure from 0.004 millimeters to 0.006 millimeters.
  • 6. Sand: Soil that is coarse and drains quickly. Sand particles measure from about 0.006 millimeters to 2.00 millimeters.
  • 7. Gravel: Visible rock particles, sometimes referred to as pebbles.
  • 8. Soil Profiles • A soil profile is a view of a cross section of soil. • Most living material exists in the top section, or topsoil. • Plant roots often extend into the second layer, called the subsoil. • The bottom two layers consist mostly of rock.
  • 9. Characteristics of Soil Horizons • 0 Horizon-located on surface, mostly O.M. (organic materials) • A Horizon-Called Topsoil, good amounts of O.M. and minerals. • B Horizon- Known as Subsoil, Less O.M. • C Horizon- Mostly parent material, does little for plant growth.
  • 10. Soil Texture Soil texture is the relative sizes of the different soil particles.
  • 11. Major Soil Texture Classes • Sand is the largest particle. • Silt is a medium-sized particle. • Clay is the smallest particle in size.
  • 12. Characteristics of a Sandy Soil
  • 13. Characteristics of a Silty Soil
  • 14. Characteristics of a Clay Soil
  • 15. Soil Structure • Sand, silt and clay particles combine with one anther to form cluster called aggregates. • The way in which aggregates or clusters are arranged is referred to as soil structure.
  • 17.
  • 18. Modified from a presentation by Carrie Nagle, Mecklenberg Public Schools.