Table of contents:

Soil Classification
Soil Classification

Video: Soil Classification

Video: Soil Classification
Video: CEEN 341 - Lecture 5 - Soil Classification 2023, December

Soil, its composition and properties

the soil
the soil

It is known that massifs with a wide variety of soils, sometimes even unsuitable for the cultivation of fruit and berry and vegetable crops, are allocated for collective gardening. Therefore, amateur gardeners have a lot of questions about the properties of the soil in their plots, as well as how to improve them so that various vegetables, fruits and berries can be successfully grown.

The soil is called the surface layer of the earth, which has fertility, that is, the ability to produce crops. A characteristic constituent of the soil is humus, or humus, which is formed as a result of the decomposition of organic matter. Humus contains all the basic elements of plant nutrition, the amount of which determines the degree of soil fertility. The more humus in the soil, the more fertile it is. The fertility of the soil on the site should be constantly increased by proper agricultural technology, the introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers.

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According to their genetic origin, soils are divided into the following types: sod-podzolic, sod-carbonate, gray forest, peat (bog), floodplain, chernozem and others. In the Non-Black Earth Zone of Russia, the most common soils of the first four types.

Sod-podzolic soils

They are characterized by low fertility, a small layer of humus horizon (10-20 cm), a low humus content (0.5-2.5%), an acidic reaction of the soil solution (pH 4-5) and a low content of nutrients available to plants. The main measures to increase the fertility of sod-podzolic soils are as follows: in the regulation of the water-air regime of excessively moistened soils by arranging drainage and open drainage systems, in carrying out cultural activities, in increasing the humus layer by systematic application of organic and mineral fertilizers, liming. It must be remembered that low-cultivated sod-podzolic soils contain little potassium and phosphorus.

Sod-calcareous soils

Unlike podzolic, they have a higher natural fertility (contain up to 5% humus) and less acidity (reaction up to neutral). These soils are better provided with nutrients available to plants. The layer of humus horizon in them reaches 40 cm. In addition to humus, they are rich in calcium and have a lumpy structure. This type of soil is called "northern chernozem". They are available in the Leningrad, Pskov, Novgorod, Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Kostroma, Kirov regions and in the Republic of Mari El.

To increase the fertility of soddy-calcareous soils, in addition to organic fertilizers, mineral fertilizers, primarily potash and manganese boric fertilizers, are introduced.

Gray forest soils

They differ from the soddy-podzolic ones with a greater thickness of the humus horizon (15-35 cm) and a higher humus content (up to 3-5%). They are podzolized and acidic. Among gray forest soils, light gray, gray and dark gray are distinguished. Light gray soils are less fertile and more podzolized. Dark gray soils are similar in character to podzolized chernozems. Gray forest soils are characterized by favorable thermal and water regimes, contributing to high microbiological activity. The main measures to improve the fertility of gray soils are liming, the introduction of organic and mineral fertilizers, mainly phosphorus and nitrogen.

Such soils are common in Tver, Moscow, Ryazan, Tula regions and in the Republic of Mari El.

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Peat (bog) soils

the soil
the soil

They are formed in conditions of waterlogging and are divided into lowland, highland and transitional. Soils formed on lowland and transitional bogs are most suitable for use under gardens and vegetable gardens.

The peat soils of lowland bogs have a deep peat layer (more than 40 cm), are characterized by high natural fertility, contain a lot of nitrogen (2-4%), but little phosphorus and potassium, have a weakly acidic or neutral reaction, are distinguished by a strong degree of peat decomposition (30-60 %) and high humidity. Reclaimed peat-boggy soils of lowland type are the best after soddy-calcareous soils.

Transitional bog soils, in contrast to low-lying ones, have increased acidity (pH 3.5-5), are characterized by a lower degree of peat decomposition. After draining and carrying out cultural and technical work, the introduction of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers, and where necessary - lime and trace elements, such soils can be successfully used for growing cold-resistant vegetables, potatoes and berries.

High peat bogs contain very few nutrients and consist of slightly decomposed sour peat; they are not very suitable for growing garden plants, but are used for litter for animals, for composting, growing seedlings and vegetables in greenhouses.

Peat-boggy lowland soils are widespread. But it must be borne in mind that when cultivating agricultural crops on them, the introduction of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers and microelements, especially copper-containing ones, is required. On upland and transitional peat-bog soils, liming should be applied, biologically active organic fertilizers (manure, bird droppings) should be applied, optimal doses of phosphorus and potassium fertilizers and microelements, as well as recommended doses of mineral nitrogen fertilizers should be applied.

To increase the fertility of drained and developed peat-bog soils and slow down the process of mineralization, not only a special system of fertilizers should be used, but also a special tillage and specialized crop rotations saturated with perennial grasses.

All peat soils are capable of retaining a large amount of moisture and are characterized by low thermal conductivity, therefore they are considered "cold". In spring, they thaw and warm up slowly, delaying the start of spring work by 10-14 days. In autumn, frosts on peatlands begin 12-14 days earlier than on ordinary soils. Although lowland peatlands are richer in nutrients and easier to cultivate than highland peatlands, their very location in lowlands or in low relief elements creates frost conditions for fruit trees in winter and during late frosts in spring and early summer.

What types of soil is divided according to its mechanical composition

The properties of soils, their water permeability, moisture capacity, air and thermal regimes, nutrient supply largely depend on the mechanical composition of the soil, i.e. the ratio of the particles constituting the soil - sand and clay. According to the mechanical composition, the soils are divided into clay, loamy, sandy loam and sandy. Clay and loamy soils are called cold and heavy. Sandy and sandy loam soils are called warm and light.

Heavy soils (heavy loamy and clayey) have poor physical properties. They have little air, a lot of water, but only a small part of it can be used by plants. Soils do not pass water well - only about 30% of summer precipitation penetrates, and up to 20% is retained. Heavy soils do not warm up well, microbiological processes are poorly developed in them, since, as a rule, they are poorly drained. When dry, they form a strong soil crust. However, heavy soils are better supplied with nutrients, especially potassium, than light soils.

Such soils need to be cultivated, i.e. they need to be made looser and less coherent. To improve the physical composition of heavy soils, higher doses of organic fertilizers (6-8 kg / m²) are introduced into them, as well as sanding (up to 30 kg of sand per 1 m²). They bring everything in for plowing or digging a site. Clay soil, mixed with sand, becomes similar in physical and mechanical properties to loamy soil. The introduction of organic matter (manure, peat, sawdust) makes it looser and more airy, which has a beneficial effect on the growth and development of garden vegetable plants. On clay soils, in the presence of a verkhovodka, it is advisable to grow plants on ridges and ridges.

Light soils (sandy and sandy loam) pass water well, but retain it very little, and nutrients are washed out into the lower layers of the soil along with water. These soils warm up very quickly, which makes it possible to start field work earlier. The main direction in improving light soils is to increase moisture capacity and fertility.

Many people make the mistake of believing that the poorer the light soil, the more various fertilizers you need to immediately apply to it. However, the application of large doses of fertilizers, especially mineral fertilizers, on such soils creates an excessively high concentration of nutrients, which is harmful to plants, especially during the initial period of their growth and development. In addition, a large amount of nutrients is washed out into subsoil horizons, which reduces the effectiveness of the applied fertilizers and is unsafe from an environmental point of view.

The best way to increase the fertility of light soils is to apply organic fertilizers. They are closed up at different depths and at different times. In autumn, apply 2-3 kg / m² to a depth of 25-30 cm, in spring - 2-3 kg / m² to a depth of 15-20 cm. On well-cultivated soil, the amount of organic fertilizers can be halved.

To improve sandy soils, claying is a good agricultural technique: up to 30 kg of clay is applied per 1 m², the plot is carefully dug to a depth of 20-25 cm. This is a very laborious operation that requires a large amount of clay, but gives a long-term effect. Claying can be carried out not all over the site at once, but alternately on its separate parts.

Average soils (light and medium loamy) in terms of texture and properties are intermediate between clay and sandy loam soils.

Loamy soils have a good structure, they are quite fertile soils with good water, air and thermal conditions; they are most suitable for the cultivation of garden and vegetable garden plants. However, these soils also need regular replenishment of nutrients to maintain and increase fertility.