We know that soil is formed when rocks are broken down by the action of water, wind, and climatic conditions. When weathering of rocks occurs, particles of various sizes of different materials are produced. This Mixture of rock particles and humus is called soil. Let us learn about the different types of soil on earth.
Living organisms such as plant roots, bacteria, fungi, earthworms are a very important part of any soil. Soil is classified on the basis of the proportion of particles of various sizes, that is to say, that soil type refers to the different sizes of minerals particles in a particular sample of soil.
If the soil contains a greater portion of big particles, it is called sandy soil. Sand particles cannot fit closely together, so there are large spaces between them. These spaces are filled with air. Therefore, sandy soil is well aerated. Water can drain quickly through the spaces between sand particles. The water holding capacity of the sandy soil is poor.
Sandy soil is light. Sandy soil is easier to cultivate, but it allows water drainage more than which is needed. In the case of sandy soil, it is necessary to water the land regularly in the summer.
If the portion of fine particles in the soil is relatively higher, then it is called clayey soil. Clay particles, being much smaller, pack tightly together leaving little space for air. Clayey soils are heavy as they hold more water than the sandy soil. It is difficult to work with clayey soil.
Since drainage is low, most of the time there is a chance of waterlogging. Clayey soil is formed after years of rock disintegration and weathering.
If the soil contains an equal proportion of large and fine particles, then the soil is called loamy soil. Loamy soil is considered the best topsoil for growing. It is considered to be the perfect soil. Loamy soil is a mixture of sand, clay, and silt, silt as you know is produced as a deposit in river beds.
Also, it is important to note that the texture of loamy soil is gritty. The size of silt particles is in between those of sand and clay. The loamy soil also has humus in it. It retains the right amount of water. Out of all the different kinds of soils, loamy soil is most ideal for cultivation.
Soil and Crops
Different types of soils are found in different parts of the world. In some parts, there is clayey soil, in some other parts there is sandy soil, while in some other parts there is loamy soil.
Different types of vegetation and crops are grown in different types of soil. The water holding capacity of both clayey and loamy soil is good. Hence both of these soils are suitable for growing cereals like wheat and gram.
Clayey soils are rich in humus and are very fertile, soils rich in clay and organic matter are suitable for growing paddy crops.
Loamy soils which drain water easily are suitable for growing lentils (masoor) and other pulses.
For cotton, sandy soil or loam soil is suitable. So, one can clearly conclude that different types of soil support different types of vegetation and crops.