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Soil is the material in the top layer of the surface of the earth in which plants can grow (especially with reference to its quality or use). The part of the earth's surface consisting of humus, disintegrated rock and a mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids, and countless organisms that together support life on Earth. Soil is a natural body called the pedosphere which has four important functions: it is a medium for plant growth; it is a means of water storage, supply and purification; it is a modifier of Earth's atmosphere; it is a habitat for organisms; all of which, in turn, modify the soil.

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Plant in Soil in Hands Soil Science is the study of soil as a natural resource on the surface of the Earth including soil formation, classification and mapping; physical, chemical, biological, and fertility properties of soils; and these properties in relation to the use and management of soils.

Soil Physics is the study of soil physical properties and processes. It is applied to management and prediction under natural and managed ecosystems. Soil physics deals with the dynamics of physical soil components and their phases as solid, liquids, and gases. It draws on the principles of physics, physical chemistry, engineering, and meteorology. It is especially important in this day and age because most farmers require an understanding of agroecosystems. Soil physics applies these principles to address practical problems of agriculture, ecology, and engineering.

Soil Mechanics is a branch of soil physics and applied mechanics that describes the behavior of soils. It differs from fluid mechanics and solid mechanics in the sense that soils consist of a heterogeneous mixture of fluids (usually air and water) and particles (usually clay, silt, sand, and gravel) but soil may also contain organic solids and other matter. Along with rock mechanics, soil mechanics provides the theoretical basis for analysis in geotechnical engineering, a subdiscipline of civil engineering, and engineering geology, a subdiscipline of geology. Soil mechanics is used to analyze the deformations of and flow of fluids within natural and man-made structures that are supported on or made of soil, or structures that are buried in soils. Example applications are building and bridge foundations, retaining walls, dams, and buried pipeline systems. Principles of soil mechanics are also used in related disciplines such as engineering geology, geophysical engineering, coastal engineering, agricultural engineering, hydrology and soil physics. This article describes the genesis and composition of soil, the distinction between pore water pressure and inter-granular effective stress, capillary action of fluids in the soil pore spaces, soil classification, seepage and permeability, time dependent change of volume due to squeezing water out of tiny pore spaces, also known as consolidation, shear strength and stiffness of soils. The shear strength of soils is primarily derived from friction between the particles and interlocking, which are very sensitive to the effective stress. The article concludes with some examples of applications of the principles of soil mechanics such as slope stability, lateral earth pressure on retaining walls, and bearing capacity of foundations.

Soil Conservation is the prevention of soil loss from erosion or reduced fertility caused by over usage, acidification, salinization or other chemical soil contamination. Tillage

Soil Ecology is the study of the interactions among soil organisms, and between biotic and abiotic aspects of the soil environment.

Soil Taxonomy is the classification of soil types according to several parameters. Global Soil Biodiversity - RSP

Topsoil is the upper, outermost layer of soil, usually the top 2 inches (5.1 cm) to 8 inches (20 cm). It has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms and is where most of the Earth's biological soil activity occurs. Four elements constitute the composition of soil. Those elements are mineral particles, organic matter, water, and air. The volume of top soil consists of 50 to 80 percent of these particles which form the skeletal structure of most soils. This composition allows the soil to sustain its own weight, and other internal matter such as water and overlying landscape. Organic matter, another important element, varies on quantity on different soils. This provokes positive and negative effects or reactions on the soil. The strength of soil structure decreases with the presence of organic matter, creating weak bearing capacities. Organic matter condenses and settles in different ways under certain conditions, such as roadbeds and foundations. The skeletal structure becomes affected once the soil is dewatered. The soil's volume substantially decreases. It decomposes and suffers wind erosion.

Subsoil is the layer of soil under the topsoil on the surface of the ground. Like topsoil it is composed of a variable mixture of small particles such as sand, silt and/or clay, but it lacks the organic matter and humus content of topsoil. Below the subsoil is the substratum, which can be residual bedrock, sediments, or aeolian deposits. As it is lacking in dark humus, subsoil is usually paler in colour than the overlying topsoil. It may contain the deeper roots of some plants, such as trees, but a majority of plant roots lie within the surface topsoil. Clay-based subsoil has been the primary source of material for adobe, cob, rammed earth, wattle and daub, and other earthen construction methods for millennia.

Clay is a fine-grained natural rock or soil material that combines one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure. Clays are plastic due to that water content and become hard, brittle and non–plastic upon drying or firing. Depending on the soil's content in which it is found, clay can appear in various colours from white to dull grey or brown to deep orange-red. Kisameet Clay

Humus refers to the fraction of soil organic matter that is amorphous and without the "cellular cake structure characteristic of plants, micro-organisms or animals." Humus significantly influences the bulk density of soil and contributes to moisture and nutrient retention. Soil formation begins with the weathering of humus. In agriculture, humus is sometimes also used to describe mature, or natural compost extracted from a forest or other spontaneous source for use to amend soil. It is also used to describe a topsoil horizon that contains organic matter (humus type, humus form, humus profile). Humus is the dark organic matter that forms in the soil when plant and animal matter decays. Humus contains many useful nutrients for healthy soil, nitrogen being the most important of all.

Muck is a soil made up primarily of humus from drained swampland. It is known as black soil in The Fens of eastern England, where it was originally mainly fen and Bog.

Soil Organic Matter is the organic matter component of soil, consisting of plant and animal residues at various stages of decomposition, cells and tissues of soil organisms, and substances synthesized by soil organisms. SOM exerts numerous positive effects on soil physical and chemical properties, as well as the soil’s capacity to provide regulatory ecosystem services. Particularly, the presence of SOM is regarded as being critical for soil function and soil quality.

Soil Quality is a measure of the condition of soil relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species and or to any human need or purpose. The capacity to function, within natural or managed ecosystem boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and support human health and habitation. Soil quality is an account of the soil's ability to provide ecosystem and social services through its capacities to perform its functions under changing conditions. Soil quality reflects how well a soil performs the functions of maintaining biodiversity and productivity, partitioning water and solute flow, filtering and buffering, nutrient cycling, and providing support for plants and other structures. Soil management has a major impact on soil quality.

Soil Compaction is when soil becomes dense and hard.

Compaction (geology) refers to the process by which a sediment progressively loses its porosity due to the effects of loading. This forms part of the process of lithification.

On average, 70 percent of all land has degraded soil, according to the Natural Resources Conservation Service. In an overview on land degradation productivity of some lands has declined by 50% due to soil erosion and desertification. In Africa, poor soil may have caused yield reductions of as much as 40 percent. Globally, loss caused by degradation “costs the world about $400 billion per year,” according to the NRCS.


Soil Testing

Soil Test is a wide variety of soil analyses conducted for one of several possible reasons. Possibly the most widely conducted soil tests are those done to estimate the plant-available concentrations of plant nutrients, in order to determine fertilizer recommendations in agriculture. Other soil tests may be done for engineering (geotechnical), geochemical or ecological investigations.

Why Plant Tissue Analysis? Analysis of plant tissues is an extremely useful tool for growers. Not only can plant tissue testing be used to monitor the nutrient status of plants but it can help identify nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. This allows growers to more effectively tailor their nutrient management programs to meet a crop's specific needs. Cost savings may be realized if nutrient deficiencies are resolved before they adversely affect production and also if unnecessary fertilizer applications are avoided. Why Not Just Test the Soil? Soil testing is also a valuable tool and is often used in conjunction with tissue testing. Soil tests should be taken before planting and at regular intervals once plants are established. The soil pH is of special importance because it affects the availability of all plant nutrients. There is often not a strong relationship between the nutrient levels in soil and in plant tissue. This is because many factors affect the ability of plants to take up nutrients. Tissue testing is the best way to find out the nutritional composition of plants. In What Circumstances Would Plant Tissue Analysis Be Suggested? Routine Assessment � Leaf and/or petiole samples are collected at the appropriate time of year and sent in every 2 to 3 years to monitor nutrient levels in plants and fertility program. Trouble Shooting. If observing leaf symptoms that may indicate a nutritional problem, samples are sent in from plants showing symptoms and also those without for a comparison.
Plant Analysis

PH Balance (from potential of Hydrogen) the logarithm of the reciprocal of hydrogen-ion concentration in gram atoms per liter; provides a measure on a scale from 0 to 14 of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution (where 7 is neutral and greater than 7 is more basic and less than 7 is more acidic).

Soil Acidification is the buildup of hydrogen cations, also called protons, reducing the soil pH. This happens when a proton donor gets added to the soil. The donor can be an acid, such as nitric acid and sulfuric acid (these acids are common components of acid rain). It can also be a compound such as aluminium sulfate, which reacts in the soil to release protons. Many nitrogen compounds, which are added as fertilizer, also acidify soil over the long term because they produce nitrous and nitric acid when oxidized in the process of nitrification.

Soil pH is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity in soils. pH is defined as the negative logarithm (base 10) of the activity of hydronium ions (H+ or, more precisely, H3O+aq) in a solution. In water, it normally ranges from -1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. A pH below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline. Soil pH is considered a master variable in soils as it controls many chemical processes that take place. It specifically affects plant nutrient availability by controlling the chemical forms of the nutrient. The optimum pH range for most plants is between 5.5 and 7.0, however many plants have adapted to thrive at pH values outside this range. Acid soils can be limed to alter the acidity, but the practice is costly and must be done annually.

Limestone - Chalk - Calcium Carbonate - Salt

Micronutrient Deficiency

Soil Testing Kits
Soil Testing Kits (amazon)
Soil Quality Test
DIY How to Soil Testing (youtube)
How to collect a Soil Sample for Analysis (youtube)
Collecting Soil Samples Part 1: Tools (youtube)

Biosensor is an analytical device, used for the detection of an analyte, that combines a biological component with a physicochemical detector.

Gas sensors ‘see’ through soil to analyze microbial interactions

Geophagia is the practice of eating earth or soil-like substrates such as clay or chalk.
Can you Eat Dirt? (Mud Pie)


Soil Contamination is caused by the presence of xenobiotic (human-made) chemicals or other alteration in the natural soil environment. It is typically caused by industrial activity, agricultural chemicals, or improper disposal of waste. The most common chemicals involved are petroleum hydrocarbons, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (such as naphthalene and benzo(a)pyrene), solvents, pesticides, lead, and other heavy metals. Contamination is correlated with the degree of industrialization and intensity of chemical usage.

Contamination is the presence of an unwanted constituent, contaminant or impurity in a material, physical body, natural environment, workplace, etc.


Environmental Remediation deals with the removal of pollution or contaminants from environmental media such as soil, groundwater, sediment, or surface water. This would mean that once requested by the government or a land remediation authority, immediate action should be taken as this can impact negatively on human health and the environment.

Nanoremediation is the use of nanoparticles for environmental remediation. It is being explored to treat ground water, wastewater, soil, sediment, or other contaminated environmental materials. Nano Technology

Bioaccumulation refers to the accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other chemicals in an organism. Bioaccumulation occurs when an organism absorbs a - possibly toxic - substance at a rate faster than that at which the substance is lost by catabolism and excretion. Thus, the longer the biological half-life of a toxic substance the greater the risk of chronic poisoning, even if environmental levels of the toxin are not very high. Bioaccumulation, for example in fish, can be predicted by models. Hypotheses for molecular size cutoff criteria for use as bioaccumulation potential indicators are not supported by data. Biotransformation can strongly modify bioaccumulation of chemicals in an organism.

Probiotics help Poplar Trees clean up Contaminated Groundwater


Phytoremediation meaning "restoring balance") refers to the technologies that use living plants to clean up soil, air, and water contaminated with hazardous chemicals.

Hemp Plants (biomass)

Hyperaccumulator is a plant capable of growing in soils with very high concentrations of metals, absorbing these metals through their roots, and concentrating extremely high levels of metals in their tissues. The metals are concentrated at levels that are toxic to closely related species not adapted to growing on the metalliferous soils. Compared to non-hyperaccumulating species, hyperaccumulator roots extract the metal from the soil at a higher rate, transfer it more quickly to their shoots, and store large amounts in leaves and roots. The ability to hyperaccumulate toxic metals compared to related species has been shown to be due to differential gene expression and regulation of the same genes in both plants. Over 500 species of flowering plants have been identified as having the ability to hyperaccumulate metals in their tissues. Hyperaccumulating plants hold interest for their ability to extract metals from the soils of contaminated sites (phytoremediation) to return the ecosystem to a less toxic state. The plants also hold potential to be used to mine metals from soils with very high concentrations (phytomining) by growing the plants then harvesting them for the metals in their tissues. The genetic advantage of hyperaccumulation of metals may be that the toxic levels of heavy metals in leaves deter herbivores or increase the toxicity of other anti-herbivory metabolite.

Carcinogen (cancer)

Lead Poisoning is a type of metal poisoning caused by lead in the body. The brain is the most sensitive. Symptoms may include abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, irritability, memory problems, inability to have children, and tingling in the hands and feet. It causes almost 10% of intellectual disability of otherwise unknown cause and can result in behavioral problems. Some of the effects are permanent. In severe cases anemia, seizures, coma, or death may occur.

Water Contamination - Pollution

Arsenic Poisoning is a medical condition that occurs due to elevated levels of arsenic in the body.[4] If exposure occurs over a brief period of time symptoms may include vomiting, abdominal pain, encephalopathy, and watery diarrhea that contains blood. Long-term exposure can result in thickening of the skin, darker skin, abdominal pain, diarrhea, heart disease, numbness, and cancer.

Arsenic (consumer reports)

AS3MT Arsenite Methyltransferase (Arsenic Antidote Hidden In Our Genes).

Arsenic is a chemical element with symbol As and atomic number 33. Arsenic occurs in many minerals, usually in combination with sulfur and metals, but also as a pure elemental crystal. Arsenic is a metalloid. It has various allotropes, but only the gray form is important to industry.

Caesium is a chemical element with symbol Cs and atomic number 55. It is a soft, silvery-gold (or, according to some, silver/colorless) alkali metal with a melting point of 28.5 °C (83.3 °F), which makes it one of only five elemental metals that are liquid at or near room temperature.[note 2] Caesium is an alkali metal and has physical and chemical properties similar to those of rubidium and potassium. The metal is extremely reactive and pyrophoric, reacting with water even at −116 °C (−177 °F). Some argue that caesium is the most reactive element of all, even more reactive than fluorine, the most reactive nonmetal. It is the least electronegative element, with a value of 0.79 on the Pauling scale. It has only one stable isotope, caesium-133. Caesium is mined mostly from pollucite, while the radioisotopes, especially caesium-137, a fission product, are extracted from waste produced by nuclear reactors.
Cesium Tolerance

Environment (botany)
Carbon Sink
Pesticides - Toxins

Anthropocene is a proposed epoch that begins when human activities started to have a significant global impact on Earth's geology and ecosystems.

Anthropocene is a proposed epoch dating from the commencement of significant human impact on the Earth's geology and ecosystems. The Anthropocence thus includes, but also transcends, the duration of anthropogenic climate change.

Soil Microbiology is the study of organisms in soil, their functions, and how they affect soil properties. It is believed that between two and four billion years ago, the first ancient bacteria and microorganisms came about in Earth's oceans. These bacteria could fix nitrogen, in time multiplied and as a result released oxygen into the atmosphere. This led to more advanced microorganisms. Microorganisms in soil are important because they affect soil structure and fertility. Soil microorganisms can be classified as bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, algae and protozoa. Each of these groups has characteristics that define them and their functions in soil. Up to 10 billion bacterial cells inhabit each gram of soil in and around plant roots, a region known as the rhizosphere. In 2011, a team detected more than 33,000 bacterial and archaeal species on sugar beet roots. The composition of the rhizobiome can change rapidly in response to changes in the surrounding environment.

Microbial Ecology is the ecology of microorganisms: their relationship with one another and with their environment. It concerns the three major domains of life—Eukaryota, Archaea, and Bacteria—as well as viruses.

Microbiologist is a biological scientist who studies microscopic life forms and processes or works in the field of microbiology. Microbiologists investigate the growth, interactions and characteristics of microscopic organisms such as bacteria, algae, fungi, and some types of parasites and their vectors

Microorganisms Increase Crop Yields
Microbes Improve Crop Productivity


Mushroom is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground on soil or on its food source.

MycoGrow Mycorrhizal Fungi

Mycoremediation a form of bioremediation, is the process of using fungi to degrade or sequester contaminants in the environment. Stimulating microbial and enzyme activity, mycelium reduces toxins in-situ. Some fungi are hyperaccumulators, capable of absorbing and concentrating heavy metals in the mushroom fruit bodies. This does not destroy the heavy metals.

Mycelium is the vegetative part of a fungus or fungus-like bacterial colony, consisting of a mass of branching, thread-like hyphae. The mass of hyphae is sometimes called shiro, especially within the fairy ring fungi. Fungal colonies composed of mycelium are found in and on soil and many other substrates. A typical single spore germinates into a homokaryotic mycelium, which cannot reproduce sexually; when two compatible homokaryotic mycelia join and form a dikaryotic mycelium, that mycelium may form fruiting bodies such as mushrooms. A mycelium may be minute, forming a colony that is too small to see, or it may be extensive: Is this the largest organism in the world? This 2,400-acre [970-hectare] site in eastern Oregon had a contiguous growth of mycelium before logging roads cut through it. Estimated at 1,665 football fields in size and 2,200 years old, this one fungus has killed the forest above it several times over, and in so doing has built deeper soil layers that allow the growth of ever-larger stands of trees. Mushroom-forming forest fungi are unique in that their mycelial mats can achieve such massive proportions.

Ecotoxicology is the study of the effects of toxic chemicals on biological organisms, especially at the population, community, ecosystem, and biosphere levels. Ecotoxicology is a multidisciplinary field, which integrates toxicology and ecology. The ultimate goal of this approach is to be able to predict the effects of pollution so that the most efficient and effective action to prevent or remediate any detrimental effect can be identified. In those ecosystems that are already impacted by pollution ecotoxicological studies can inform as to the best course of action to restore ecosystem services and functions efficiently and effectively. Ecotoxicology differs from environmental toxicology in that it integrates the effects of stressors across all levels of biological organisation from the molecular to whole communities and ecosystems, whereas environmental toxicology focuses upon effects at the level of the individual and below.

Super Fungi Pure Science Specials (film) Season 1 Ep 75 | 11/05/2014 |  52:09
Mushrooms (photos - info)

Ants that Farm (youtube)

Soil Solarization is an environmentally friendly method of using solar power for controlling pests such as soilborne plant pathogens including fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and insect and mite pests along with weed seed and seedlings in the soil by mulching the soil and covering it with tarp, usually with a transparent polyethylene cover, to trap solar energy. It may also describe methods of decontaminating soil using sunlight or solar power. This energy causes physical, chemical, and biological changes in the soil.

Soil Carbon Capture
Terrestrial Ecology
Soil and Plant Scientists Jobs
Water Testing 


Fertilizer is any material of natural or synthetic origin (other than liming materials) that is applied to soils or to plant tissues (usually leaves) to supply one or more plant nutrients essential to the growth of plants.

(PPhosphorus is a chemical element with symbol P and atomic number 15. As an element, phosphorus exists in two major forms—white phosphorus and red phosphorus—but because it is highly reactive, phosphorus is never found as a free element on Earth. At 0.099%, phosphorus is the most abundant pnictogen in the Earth's crust. With few exceptions, minerals containing phosphorus are in the maximally oxidised state as inorganic phosphate rocks.

Nitrogen Atom (N) Nitrogen is a chemical element with symbol N and atomic number 7. It is the lightest member of group 15 of the periodic table, often called the pnictogens. It is a common element in the universe, estimated at about seventh in total abundance in the Milky Way and the Solar System. At standard temperature and pressure, two atoms of the element bind to form dinitrogen, a colourless and odorless diatomic gas with the formula N2. Dinitrogen forms about 78% of Earth's atmosphere, making it the most abundant uncombined element. Nitrogen occurs in all organisms, primarily in amino acids (and thus proteins), in the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and in the energy transfer molecule adenosine triphosphate. The human body contains about 3% nitrogen by mass, the fourth most abundant element in the body after oxygen, carbon, and hydrogen. The nitrogen cycle describes movement of the element from the air, into the biosphere and organic compounds, then back into the atmosphere.
Nitrogen Fixing Crops (wiki)

(K) Potassium is a chemical element with symbol K and atomic number 19. It was first isolated from potash, the ashes of plants, from which its name derives. In the periodic table, potassium is one of the alkali metals. All of the alkali metals have a single valence electron in the outer electron shell, which is easily removed to create an ion with a positive charge – a cation, which combines with anions to form salts. Potassium in nature occurs only in ionic salts. Elemental potassium is a soft silvery-white alkali metal that oxidizes rapidly in air and reacts vigorously with water, generating sufficient heat to ignite hydrogen emitted in the reaction and burning with a lilac-colored flame. It is found dissolved in sea water (which is 0.04% potassium by weight), and is part of many minerals. Naturally occurring potassium is composed of three isotopes, of which 40 K is radioactive. Traces of 40 K are found in all potassium, and it is the most common radioisotope in the human body. Potassium is chemically very similar to sodium, the previous element in Group 1 of the periodic table. They have a similar ionization energy, which allows for each atom to give up its sole outer electron. That they are different elements that combine with the same anions to make similar salts was suspected in 1702,and was proven in 1807 using electrolysis. Most industrial applications of potassium exploit the high solubility in water of potassium compounds, such as potassium soaps. Heavy crop production rapidly depletes the soil of potassium, and this can be remedied with agricultural fertilizers containing potassium, accounting for 95% of global potassium chemical production. Potassium ions are necessary for the function of all living cells. The transfer of potassium ions through nerve cell membranes is necessary for normal nerve transmission; potassium depletion can result in numerous abnormalities, including an abnormal heart rhythm and various electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good dietary sources of potassium. The body responds to the influx of dietary potassium, which raises serum potassium levels, with a shift of potassium from outside to inside cells and an increase in potassium excretion by the kidneys.

(CaCalcium is a chemical element with symbol Ca and atomic number 20. Calcium is a soft gray Group 2 alkaline earth metal, fifth-most-abundant element by mass in the Earth's crust. The ion Ca2+ is also the fifth-most-abundant dissolved ion in seawater by both molarity and mass, after sodium, chloride, magnesium, and sulfate. Free calcium metal is too reactive to occur in nature. Calcium is produced in supernova nucleosynthesis.Calcium is an essential trace element in living organisms. It is the most abundant metal by mass in many animals, and it is an important constituent of bone, teeth, and shells. In cell biology, the movement of the calcium ion into and out of the cytoplasm functions as a signal for many cellular processes. Calcium carbonate and calcium citrate are often taken as dietary supplements. Calcium is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines.

(Mg) Magnesium is a chemical element with symbol Mg and atomic number 12. It is a shiny gray solid which bears a close physical resemblance to the other five elements in the second column (Group 2, or alkaline earth metals) of the periodic table: all Group 2 elements have the same electron configuration in the outer electron shell and a similar crystal structure. Magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe. It is produced in large, aging stars from the sequential addition of three helium nuclei to a carbon nucleus. When such stars explode as supernovas, much of the magnesium is expelled into the interstellar medium where it may recycle into new star systems. Magnesium is the eighth most abundant element in the Earth's crust and the fourth most common element in the Earth (after iron, oxygen and silicon), making up 13% of the planet's mass and a large fraction of the planet's mantle. It is the third most abundant element dissolved in seawater, after sodium and chlorine. Magnesium occurs naturally only in combination with other elements, where it invariably has a +2 oxidation state. The free element (metal) can be produced artificially, and is highly reactive (though in the atmosphere, it is soon coated in a thin layer of oxide that partly inhibits reactivity — see passivation). The free metal burns with a characteristic brilliant-white light. The metal is now obtained mainly by electrolysis of magnesium salts obtained from brine, and is used primarily as a component in aluminium-magnesium alloys, sometimes called magnalium or magnelium. Magnesium is less dense than aluminium, and the alloy is prized for its combination of lightness and strength. Magnesium is the eleventh most abundant element by mass in the human body and is essential to all cells and some 300 enzymes. Magnesium ions interact with polyphosphate compounds such as ATP, DNA, and RNA. Hundreds of enzymes require magnesium ions to function. Magnesium compounds are used medicinally as common laxatives, antacids (e.g., milk of magnesia), and to stabilize abnormal nerve excitation or blood vessel spasm in such conditions as eclampsia.

(S) Sulfur is a chemical element with symbol S and atomic number 16. It is abundant, multivalent, and nonmetalic. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8. Elemental sulfur is a bright yellow crystalline solid at room temperature. Chemically, sulfur reacts with all elements except for gold, platinum, iridium, tellurium, and the noble gases. Though sometimes found in pure, native form, sulfur usually occurs as sulfide and sulfate minerals. Being abundant in native form, sulfur was known in ancient times, being mentioned for its uses in ancient India, ancient Greece, China, and Egypt. In the Bible, sulfur is called brimstone.[6] Today, almost all elemental sulfur is produced as a byproduct of removing sulfur-containing contaminants from natural gas and petroleum. The greatest commercial use of the element is the production of sulfuric acid for sulfate and phosphate fertilizers, and other chemical processes. The element sulfur is used in matches, insecticides, and fungicides. Many sulfur compounds are odoriferous, and the smells of odorized natural gas, skunk scent, grapefruit, and garlic are due to organosulfur compounds. Hydrogen sulfide gives the characteristic odor to rotting eggs and other biological processes. Sulfur is an essential element for all life, but almost always in the form of organosulfur compounds or metal sulfides. Three amino acids (cysteine, cystine, and methionine) and two vitamins (biotin and thiamine) are organosulfur compounds. Many cofactors also contain sulfur including glutathione and thioredoxin and iron–sulfur proteins. Disulfides, S–S bonds, confer mechanical strength and insolubility of the protein keratin, found in outer skin, hair, and feathers. Sulfur is one of the core chemical elements needed for biochemical functioning and is an elemental macronutrient for all organisms.

Safe Fertilizer (PDF)
Safe Organic Pesticides

Biochar is charcoal used as a soil amendment. Like most charcoal, biochar is made from biomass via pyrolysis. Biochar is under investigation as an approach to carbon sequestration to produce negative carbon dioxide emissions. Biochar thus has the potential to help mitigate climate change via carbon sequestration. Independently, biochar can increase soil fertility of acidic soils (low pH soils), increase agricultural productivity, and provide protection against some foliar and soil-borne diseases. Furthermore, biochar reduces pressure on forests. Biochar is a stable solid, rich in carbon, and can endure in soil for thousands of years.


Soil Conditioner is a product which is added to soil to improve the soil’s physical qualities, especially its ability to provide nutrition for plants. In general usage, the term "soil conditioner" is often thought of as a subset of the category soil amendments, which more often is understood to include a wide range of fertilizers and non-organic materials.

Rice Farmer Reactive Nitrogen (wiki)
Nutrient becomes deadly pollutant
Nitrogen Footprint Calculator
Fertilizer Industry
Nitrates (PDF)

Mycorrhiza and less Phosphorus

Ocean Solution is Ocean-Mined Minerals Liquid Organic Fertilizer and Plant Mineralizer.

Plant Nutrition is the study of the chemical elements and compounds necessary for plant growth, plant metabolism and their external supply. In 1972, E. Epstein defined two criteria for an element to be essential for plant growth: In its absence the plant is unable to complete a normal life cycle, or that the element is part of some essential plant constituent or metabolite.

Rockdust also known as rock powders, rock minerals, rock flour, soil remineralization, and mineral fines, consists of finely crushed rock, processed by natural or mechanical means, containing minerals and trace elements widely used in organic farming practices.

Why Rock Dust Works and Doesn't Work (45 mins. youtube)
Rock Dust Local
Rock Dust
Rock Dust
Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase (book on amazon)
Sea 90
Calcified Seaweed (youtube)
Blood Meal
Human Excrement Fertilizers
Rich Earth Institute
Controlled Burn
Synthetic Fertilizers
Compost Tea
Microdosing: Increasing crop production in sub-Saharan Africa


Make a Worm Farm
Uncle Jims Worm Farm
Garden Worms

Vermicompost is the product of the composting process using various species of worms, usually red wigglers, white worms, and other earthworms, to create a heterogeneous mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and vermicast, also called worm castings, worm humus or worm manure, is the end-product of the breakdown of organic matter by an earthworm. These castings have been shown to contain reduced levels of contaminants and a higher saturation of nutrients than do organic materials before vermicomposting.Containing water-soluble nutrients, vermicompost is an excellent, nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner. This process of producing vermicompost is called vermicomposting. While vermicomposting is generally known as a nutrient rich source of organic compost used in farming and small scale sustainable, organic farming, the process of vermicasting is undergoing research as a treatment for organic waste in sewage and wastewater plants around the world.

Worm Charming are methods of attracting earthworms from the ground.

How to get earthworm by applying 220 volts to the ground (youtube)

Official Soil Series Descriptions (OSD) with series extent mapping capabilities

Salt - Soil Salinity

Soil Salinity is the Salt content in the soil; the process of increasing the salt content is known as salinization. Salts occur naturally within soils and water. Salination can be caused by natural processes such as mineral weathering or by the gradual withdrawal of an ocean. It can also come about through artificial processes such as irrigation. A soil with excess salts where sodium chloride (NaCl) predominates. Soils vary depending on various chemicals present. Alkaline soil, a soil with a high pH (>8.5) due to the presence of excessive sodium carbonate (Na2CO3).

Soil Salinity Control
Salt Remediation
Sodium Affected Soils (PDF)
Soil Drainage and Salt (PDF)
Agricultural Lime
Calcium Nitrate
Epsom Salt used as a Foliar Spray or Soil Additive will help tomato and pepper plants grow and produce larger, tastier yields.
Soil Conditioner
Breakthrough in salt-tolerance in plants research could lead to new salt tolerant varieties of crops.
Consider The Salt-Tolerant Potato
Salt Farm Texel pitch at World Water Week 2014 in Stockholm, Sweden (youtube)

Water Management

Rice Farmer in Field with water Water Management - Dry Land Farming
Drip Irrigation

Cover Crop is a crop planted primarily to manage soil erosion, soil fertility, soil quality, water, weeds, pests, diseases, biodiversity and wildlife in an agroecosystem (Lu et al. 2000), an ecological system managed and largely shaped by humans across a range of intensities to produce food, feed, or fiber. Currently, not many countries are known for using the cover crop method. Cover crops are of interest in sustainable agriculture as many of them improve the sustainability of agroecosystem attributes and may also indirectly improve qualities of neighboring natural ecosystems. Farmers choose to grow and manage specific cover crop types based on their own needs and goals, influenced by the biological, environmental, social, cultural, and economic factors of the food system in which they operate (Snapp et al. 2005). The farming practice of cover crops has been recognized as climate-smart agriculture by the White House.

Cover Crops
Woodchips in Garden 
Tub Grinders
Vegetable Garden Mulches

Drainage Systems - Catch Basins (youtube)
Landscape Drainage Solutions


Drinking Water Management

Soil Sensors monitors environmental conditions in your garden. Water Valve automatically gives your plants exactly the amount of water they need. Soil Sensor science of monitoring soil conditions, including soil moisture.

G Thrive hardware and software field monitoring solution measuring 5 key parameters Sunlight, Air Temperature, Soil Temperature, Soil Moisture (volumetric), Electrical Conductivity (EC). Delivers that information wirelessly to your smartphone or laptop.

Soil Moisture Meter (amazon)

Water Sensors - Sensor Technologies

Sensprout monitors the level of moisture.

Leaf Sensors can tell Farmers when Crops need to be Watered.

Mist: Sprinkler System Sprinkler Controller + Soil Sensors = Perfect Watering. Save 80% in Drought Mode. iOS/Android App.

Forage Boost

Hydrogels is a network of polymer chains that are hydrophilic, sometimes found as a colloidal gel in which water is the dispersion medium. Hydrogels are highly absorbent (they can contain over 90% water) natural or synthetic polymeric networks. Hydrogels also possess a degree of flexibility very similar to natural tissue, due to their significant water content. Hydrogels

Soil Conditioning Technology

Soil Nutrient Management (epa)

Soil Food Web is the community of organisms living all or part of their lives in the soil. It describes a complex living system in the soil and how it interacts with the environment, plants, and animals. Food webs describe the transfer of energy between species in an ecosystem.

Landscaping (lawns)

Till or No-Till - Tillage

More than 50 percent America’s topsoil has eroded away. 40 percent of rainwater runs off uncovered dry land soil. But organic matter can hold up to 90 percent of its weight in water and releases that moisture slowly over time, particularly helpful in areas prone to drought. Soil, at its base, is 50 percent gas and water, and roughly 45 percent minerals such as sand, silt and clay. The remainder is organic matter—decomposing plants and animals. For being such a small portion of dirt, organic matter plays a huge role. It serves as food for microorganisms that do everything from store water to provide nutrients for plants and control pests. Researchers are learning more and more about the exchange between plants and fungi, bacteria and other organisms in the soil, said Robert Myers, a professor of soil sciences at the University of Missouri. Promoting soil health comes down to three basic practices: Make sure the soil is covered with plants at all times, diversify what it grows and don’t disrupt it. What this means in practice is rotating crops, so fields aren’t trying to support the same plant year after year. And it means using techniques like “cover-cropping”–planting a secondary plant like grasses, legumes or vegetables–between rows of crops or on other exposed soil instead of leaving it bare. Using a cover crop protects the soil, reduces erosion, encourages biodiversity and returns nutrients like nitrogen to the earth. Most U.S. acres planted with major crops—about 60 percent—were still tilled in 2010-2011.

Farming Knowledge

The Thinker Man