Major Components

mineral particles water air organic particles organisms

Mineral Particles Pertinent to Plants

Particle NameSizeDrainageAir CapacityWater CapacityMineral Capacity
sand 1-0.1mm +++ +++ - -
silt 0.1-0.001mm + + + +
clay <0.001mm - - +++ +++

Soil Texture Triangle

What is the soil type if the soil is:
100%soil type: ________

The name of that soil means that it is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay that is:


What is the soil type if the soil is:
100%soil type: ________ _________
What is the soil type if the soil is:
100%soil type: ________ _________

If you really have this, then you can also work backwards...find the dot on the i in the word silt for the silt soil type (lower right corner of triangle).

What are the percentages that map out to the dot of the i?
100%soil type: silt (at dot of i)



C. Hopkins Cafe Mighty Good

The three boxes printed with an * indicate the three macronutrient minerals in the guaranteed analysis of a fertilizer. A fertilizer analysis of 5-10-15 has:

_____% phosphorus, ______% potassium, and ______% nitrogen

The two boxes printed with a † indicate macronutrient minerals often depleted by the acid rainfall in Connecticut. These two minerals can be restored to the soil, and the pH neutralized by spreading:

__________________ ________________________ on lawns and gardens in Connecticut.


Micronutrients are not less important, the plants simply require less abundance of them in the soil. The micronutrients are mostly cofactors for enzymes in plant cells:


Come on cousin, see Mo by Al and Cleo

Cation Exchange

Show in a diagram how a plant root removes soil minerals from clay particles in the soil. Then tell what happens when there is acid rain, such as that in Connecticut. To answer this question fully, you will need to discuss electronic charge of minerals and soil particles, the acid particle, and the pH of the soil water. You might also need to explain how European pioneers chose where to start farming and how they could tell when they were on land with good soil in terms of pH.

This page © Ross E. Koning 1994.

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