Soil is what supports pretty much all life on planet Earth. It is made up of minerals, organic matter, gases, and countless organisms. All of these components play an integral part of maintaining healthy soil, and therefore a healthy ecosystem. To get a little bit more in depth, typical soil consists of approximately 45% minerals, 5% organic matter, 20-30% water, and 20-30% air. While this is a typical soil composition, these numbers will fluctuate, almost on a day-to-day basis. This depends many factors including water supply, weather, and cultivation practices.
The soil minerals and organic matter hold and store nutrients, while the soil water needs to be readily available for plants to uptake so that they can get the nutrients they need. The air in soil plays an integral role in supporting the microorganisms that live in soil so that they may undergo the biological processes that allow them to release their own nutrients that will then support plants and help them grow.
So where do all of these things come from to make up our soil? Have you ever seen the Walt Disney Classic, The Lion King? If the answer was yes, then think “The Circle Of Life.” The minerals in our soil come from the disintegration and decomposition of nearby rocks. All of the organic matter in soil is obtained through the decay of microbial tissues, plant residues, and the remains of animals. Gases (air) come from the atmosphere, reactions of roots in nearby plants, microbes, and even chemicals that are in the soil. Water is obtained from the atmosphere (weather) and chemical, physical, or microbial reactions in the soil. Lastly, organisms ranging in size from insects and earthworms to small microbes thrive on many of the nutrients within the soil, so this is where they live.
Having trouble growing healthy looking grass, trees, shrubs and other plants in your yard? You should probably get your soil tested (or test it yourself) and find out where your problem is. Sometimes even small soil adjustments can make a huge difference. At A Cut Above, we use a 100% Organic Fertilization program. Unlike most lawn companies, soil testing is performed on your property whenever needed. This analysis allows us to make sure we are applying exactly what your lawn needs- not too little, nor too much. If interested, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation today.