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The Fundamentals Of Soil Science For Young Learners

Team StoryWeavers|December 09, 2022, 12:44 IST| 1

“There’s something satisfying about getting your hands in the soil.” ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Vocation of a Gadfly

We all have seen soil and, perhaps, have played in the dirt at some point. We also know that soil is everywhere, covers most land, and is an important natural resource. But our understanding of soil is a bit limited. So, let us try to learn more about soil science today!

In this article, we will cover: (click to read the section)

What is soil?

Soil is a mixture of minerals, organic matter, air, and water. Organic matter means the plants and animals that have died and are part of the soil now. 

Did you know that soil is different from dirt? Dirt is the soil that is “dead” because it no longer has the qualities to support life.

A particle is a small piece of something. Sand, silt, and clay form soil. Sand particles are the biggest and clay particles are the smallest. A soil could be made up of only one particle, but most soils are made up of all three.

How long does it take for soil to form?

Some natural resources like soils are limited. Soil is considered a renewable resource because new soils are continually being formed. It could be said that an inch of topsoil takes hundreds or even thousands of years to form. 

Soil forms at different speeds in different places on Earth. The cold, dry places have the slowest speed (1000+ years), and the hot, wet places have the fastest speed (several hundred years). That is why soil needs to be prevented from being blown away by wind or washed away by water.

What does soil do?

We now know that soil takes a long time to form, and it needs to be protected as it is an important resource. Here are some interesting things that soil does:

  • Soil supports plants and provides them with water and nutrients to grow. This provides food for the animals that eat plants. This in turn provides food for the meat-eating animals as well.
  • Soil stores a lot of carbon inside it. Healthier soil absorbs more carbon and as a result reduces the impact of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are bad for the environment because they trap heat in the atmosphere. 
  • Soil also acts as a water filter. When water flows down the land towards rivers and lakes, the soil filters out dirt and other harmful things. Soil makes sure that clean water gets to the rivers, lakes, and ocean. This protects marine and freshwater life. 
  • Soils are home to animals like mice, as well as microorganisms like bacteria and fungi that cannot be seen with the naked eye, which make up most of the living things on Earth. Microorganisms improve soil drainage and structure, making it more fertile and productive.

Overall, the soil does some pretty amazing things for us and the environment. We also know that we need to protect soil from wind and water. Can you think of a couple of ways we can protect soil? Let us know in the comments below. 



About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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