To some soil is a brown mess to make mud pies from for others it is a crusty, cracked, rock hard piece of the garden that takes effort to cultivate into good soil. Mixing in more sand will help both these conditions. Soil that is too sandy will drain through very quickly.
- Good soil contains clay, sand and silt in varying proportions. A preponderance of clay is called a heavy soil and can lead to the crust or a ‘pan’ referred to above.
- Air and water are the other crucial components of soil. They give and maintain life for all plants and other life forms.
- Dissolved nutrients and decomposing plant matter (humus) provides food for the numerous creatures that make their home in the soil.
- Millions of microbes (fungus & bacteria) are present in good soil and their beneficial effect is just beginning to be fully recognised.
- Worms help aerate the soil and maintain a balance structure. Other creatures help compost dying plant matter.