Updated: Sep 6, 2020
All plants, well almost all plants, need soil to survive and thrive. Soil creates a space for plants to anchor their roots down into in order to get the necessary nutrients they need, to get enough water, and to stay in their place. Soil plays a vital role in the health of a plant and in order to have strong and healthy plants, you must keep your soil strong and healthy. When planting houseplants, a garden, or landscaping a yard, it is important to know what soil you are working with. Soils have different properties that decipher the needs of that soil. For example, Clay has small fine particles, which lets it retain more water easier, where as sand has larger particles and does not hold as much water. Obviously, this means that the water needs for the plants growing in these soils are different. Additionally, there are ways to alter the soil in order to make it healthier for the plants, such as adding compost or organic matter to the existing soil.
So, now it is important to know what exactly soil is. Soils are derived from 5 factors: the parent material (bedrock, rock, minerals), topography of the land, climate and how the climate acts on the topography, the living (or decaying) organisms, and ultimately, time. Soil is the medium used by most plants and is a combination of rocks, minerals, and organic matter. The different combinations of these properties is what creates the different types of soils: Silt, Clay, and Sand, which differ in their color, texture, and structure.
Soil is vital to life on earth and provides a number of services that help benefit people in different ways. And it is important to understand soil in order to grow prosperous plants!