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Soil Properties

Soil Properties

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Soil Properties

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  1. Soil Properties 23.00-Explain the properties of soils and their relationship to plant growth.

  2. Soils and growing media • Soils and growing media are made up of two types of materials • Organic matter • Inorganic compounds

  3. Organic Matter • Dead plant or animal tissue • contains carbon • usually has diseases or insects

  4. Types of organic matter • Compost • bark-particles too large to use in seed germination media • mulch-used to cover soil to help hold moisture and prevent weeds • straw • peat moss

  5. Composting

  6. Types of Organic Matter • Sphagnum • Sawdust-high carbon to nitrogen ratio makes nitrogen unavailable for plant use • Wood shavings- high carbon to nitrogen ratio makes nitrogen unavailable for plant use

  7. Inorganic compounds • Do not contain carbon • usually sterile

  8. Types of inorganic compounds • Soilless media-artificial soil • Vermiculite-mica mineral matter used to start seeds and cuttings, helps hold moisture, has neutral pH • Perlite-natural volcanic material that helps aeration and water-holding capacity

  9. Vermiculite

  10. Perlite

  11. pH • Measurement of acidity or alkalinity from 0 to 14 • Acid-less than 7.0 • Alkaline-more than 7.0 • Most organic matter is acid • Most artificial media is neutral • Ideal pH for most ornamental plants and lawn or turf grasses is 5.5 to 7.0

  12. Hydroponics • The process of growing plants without soil

  13. Types of hydroponics • Aggregate culture • using sand or gravel to support plant roots • Water culture, solution culture, or nutriculture • plant roots grow in water containing dissolved nutrients

  14. Types of hydroponics • Aeroponics • plant roots hang in air and are misted regularly with a nutrient solution • Continuous-flow system • nutrient solution flows constantly over plant roots • most commonly used for commercial production

  15. Hydroponics at Epcot

  16. Advantages of hydroponics • No soil and problems associated with soil • Easy to control nutrient content of plants

  17. Disadvantages of hydroponics • Plant support must be provided with strings, wires or stakes • Water quality must be high • Diseases spread through water • More moisture or humidity in air to cause favorable environment for disease organisms • More expensive

  18. What is the physical make up of soil?

  19. Soil Profile • Layers of soil are called horizons • Typical profile • A Horizon-topsoil • most fertile • most organic matter • top or first layer • B Horizon-subsoil • C Horizon-bedrock

  20. Soil Profile A Horizon B Horizon C Horizon

  21. Soil Profile

  22. Soil Structure • How particles cluster together • single grain • granular (best for most plants) • blocky • platy • massive

  23. Soil Structure Single Grain

  24. Soil Structure Granular

  25. Soil Structure Blocky

  26. Soil Structure Platy

  27. Soil Structure Massive

  28. Soil structure • Soil structure is more important to producers who grow plants in natural soils • Producers of container grown plants add ingredients to make growing media desirable

  29. Soil Texture • Size of particles • Types of textures • clayey • loamy • sandy

  30. Clayey Texture • Small particles • Has a high water-holding capacity • most common texture in western NC

  31. Loamy texture • About equal parts of sand, clay and silt • Ideal texture for most non-container outside plants

  32. Sandy texture • Large particles • Low moisture-holding capacity • Most common in eastern NC

  33. Soil Makeup Water

  34. FFA Land Judging CDE