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Ambassador report

Ambassador report

[Ambassador report] FACTS ABOUT SOIL

by CARLOS OCON DEGAMO JR. | 07-12-2018 15:53 Comments 6 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

1. Soil type and water content affect soil temperature cycles. “Sandy, dry soils can heat up very fast, even to higher than the air temperature,” Scheeringa says. “So on a sunny summer day when the maximum air temperature reaches the mid-90s, it isn’t unusual for sandy, dry soils at 1 to 2 inches deep to zoom past 100 degrees [F].”

2. Soil temptends to be lower than air temp early; then the pattern reverses.Early in the spring, soil temperature may average slightly below air temperature, Nielsen says. He’s talking about soil temperature in the 2- to 4-inch depth range, under bare soil.

“From early June on, the soil temperature is typically higher than the air temperature,” he explains. “It’s all about the sun hitting the soil surface.”

3. Soil moisture content affects soil temperature. Soils are typically cooler in the spring, coming out of winter, Nielsen says. Scheeringa adds that as the ground warms up, some of the heat is used to dry wet soil. The rest of the heat goes toward raising soil temperature.

4. Wet soils warm up more slowly. Heat that dries the soil is called “latent” or “hidden” heat, Scheeringa says. Climatologists call heat that warms the soil “sensible” heat. “If available heat is being shared between latent and sensible, the soil temperature will take longer to warm up,” he says.

5. Heat absorbed during a warm day can be passed down deeper the next day. Soil temperature by depth in the soil isn’t a straight line. It curves back and forth in an S curve or snake pattern, Scheeringa says. “If you drew a line through the soil connecting all points of say 50 degrees, then that line would look like a snake S-wave as it goes deeper into the soil,” he explains.

6. The "heat highway" in the soil runs in both directions. In the spring and summer, heat is passed down through the soil column. In the winter, the pattern reverses course. Heat can be passed up through the soil profile in the same way, Scheeringa says. In winter, this may show up as layers of frozen and unfrozen soil with depth.

7. The growing degree day system is based on air temperature. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be related back to how plants develop, starting with germination and emergence, Nielsen says. “We have determined how many growing degree days corn needs to emerge, and then move from one growth stage to another,” he explains. “If you know the number of growing degree days accumulated since planting, you can estimate the stage of growth of corn in any given field fairly accurately, even if you’ve never been to the field.”




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1. Without the biology, your plants will be dying!

Without the soil food web i.e. billions of little organisms like bacteria, nematodes, ciliates, mites, earthworms, etc. the brown stuff under your feet is just dirt or decomposed rock. 
The soil food web ensures that the pathogens (the bad guys like disease-causing bacteria, fungi or nematodes) are kept in check and that your plants receive the right nutrients when they need it.

2. Organic matter can hold 10 times its weight in water!

This is an important fact about your garden soil! Increasing the organic matter content will help to hold water in the soil and reduces the need for watering your plants. You can increase the organic matter content by adding compost and mulch. Cover crops are also an excellent way to accomplish this.

3. The beneficial bacteria and fungi help to give the soil structure.

This allows air into the soil. They produce a 'glue' that forms aggregates with soil particles and organic matter. If they die off the soil collapses and goes anaerobic. Pathogens start to build up and your plants get sick! 

4. Good soil structure helps to infiltrate and hold water in the root zone.

The roots can go deeper and reach more nutrients and water. You have to worry less about watering and feeding your garden!






Elizaveta Zaretskaya

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    Thank you for providing us with the facts about soil @Carlos
    Posted 14-12-2018 00:07

Joon Ho Mentor

  • Joon Ho Mentor says :
    Hello Carlos, simple but neatly organized facts about soil! I once wondered if no.5 would be true or not but now I got it :) (Heat absorbed during a warm day can be passed down deeper the next day)
    Thanks for telling us basic introduction and simple facts about soil!
    Posted 11-12-2018 22:52

Gyeongrin mentor

  • Gyeongrin mentor says :
    Hi Carlos!

    Thank you for this instructive information about soil! I was so interesting about the fact that soil moisture content affects soil temperature. Soil truly is an important consistent of our nature. Your report made me think about the soil again that is somehow so close and familiar. But, soil pollution is getting worse these days. It is because of chemical fertilizer and waste landfill etc. I wish the soil pollution will be resolved as soon as possible.

    Thank you for your report!
    Posted 10-12-2018 01:01

Deepak  Subedi

  • Deepak Subedi says :
    Hello Carlos :)
    Namaste from Nepal

    As a science student I was familiar with all facts :)
    Thank you so much for sharing this :)
    Keep writing more.
    Posted 07-12-2018 22:48

Rosa Domingos

  • Rosa Domingos says :
    Hey there Carlos!

    So many important facts to take home! I am most surprised about how micro organisms help keep plants alive, I only thought that they keep the soil healthy and recycled.

    Thank you for this useful information!

    Yours sincerely
    Posted 07-12-2018 16:47

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