Soil Facts for Kids
Do you love digging in the dirt? How about watching the flowers grow? Flowers grow because of the sun and the soil. In this article, Soil Facts for Kids, we are going to talk all about dirt! From the different kinds of soil to soil texture and soil forms, we will cover it all! It’s time to get down and dirty with us and learn about the soil all around us.
Soil is everywhere. It covers parts of the Earth’s surface and is home to grass, flowers, and many pieces of rock. Can you see soil from where you are right now? What do you think is in it?
There are more than one trillion species of microbes in a single teaspoon of soil. Wow, that’s a lot of microbes!
Soil contains many natural antibiotics that help protect plants from diseases and pests.
Rock fragments or rock particles can also be found in the soil. Sometimes, you can even find large rocks if you are digging in the right place. No matter if there are tiny particles, large particles, or medium-sized particles the bits of rock are almost always sedimentary rocks. Sedimentary rocks are a mixture of organic matter that embeds itself in small spaces on or below the surface of the Earth.
Soil Facts for Kids – The Layers of Soil
Soil is divided into five layers also known as soil horizons. The bottom layer is bedrock followed by the parent material, subsoil, topsoil, and then the top layer, the organic layer. The organic layer contains organic material and is usually where plant roots meet the stem. It is the only visible layer of soil when looking at the surface of land.
The Main Types of Soils
There are six different soil types. Keep reading for a breakdown of all six types:
- Clay Soil: This type of soil is very clay-like. It contains fine particles and becomes sticky when wet.
- Sandy Soil: This type of soil contains an even amount of both rock and mineral particles.
- Silty Soil: This type of soil is very slippery and contains few rock pieces.
- Peaty Soil: This type of soil is made up of organic matter or vegetation. You may know peaty soil as turf.
- Chalky Soil: This type of soil looks like someone took two chalkboard erasers and clapped them together. It is very chunky and chalk-like due to the high levels of calcium present in the soil.
- Loamy Soil: This kind of soil contains different amounts of sand, silt, and clay with the largest particles being sand and silt. There is much sand in the loamy soil, which makes it appear smooth.
Soil Facts for Kids – The Importance of Soil
Soil is essential for plant growth. It helps anchor plants in place and provides them with the necessary nutrients and minerals needed for survival. Without soil, the plants would have nowhere to grow.
Soil is also beneficial to plants and flowers by helping regulate temperature and moisture levels. Due to its composition, the soil can absorb high amounts of sunlight and rainwater to be stored for the plant when needed. Clay soil is able to retain water for long amounts of time, so if you live in a dry area, make sure you look into this soil the next time you plant a flower.
Being able to absorb and store water also helps to prevent flooding during rainstorms. How cool is that?
Other Uses for Soil
Soil can be used to make bricks, pottery, and other objects. In ancient times, the people would use clay soil to create vases and other pottery pieces.
Soil helps support many industries, including construction, mining, and agriculture. Soil is used to make fertilizers, which are essential for plant growth and crop production. In addition, agricultural practices such as crop rotation and intercropping rely on the use of soil.
Not only does soil help plants and flowers, but it helps all aspects of the environment. Soil helps create and regulate the flow of fresh water by filtering pollutants such as heavy metals and pesticides from the water. It also absorbs excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and can even be used to produce biofuels and other bio-based products.
More Fun Soil Facts for Kids
Soil can take up to 500 years to form just one inch of soil!
There are more organisms and microorganisms in soil than there are humans on Earth. That means there are more than 7.9 billion organisms living in the soil. Wow!
Soil erosion is one of the biggest threats facing our planet today, meaning the soil can be easily washed or blown away.
Climate change is also affecting the lifespan and usability of soil.
What Can you Do?
Soil is one of the most important resources on Earth, yet so many people take it for granted or simply don’t understand its true value. Soil is a finite resource, which means it will run out over time. That being said, it is crucial we, as people, start protecting the soil and the other precious resources of this Earth. We should treat soil with respect to ensure its long-term sustainability and do everything we can to keep it healthy, vibrant, and alive! Because no matter where you live or what you do in life, you will also need soil whether you know it or not.
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