We're well into Springtime here in Texas, and as a result I've been digging in the Earth. It's a messy job and when I'm through I often bathe to relax my muscles and soak the mud out from under my nails. I've been spending so much time with my hands immersed in the earth and enjoying the smell of things growing in the soil, I decided to share some "Secret Fun Facts About Soil!"
Do you know how important soil is? Check out these dirty facts and when it's warm enough in your part of the word, enjoy playing in the ground with a whole new perspective!
Secrets Held Within the Soil
There can be no life without soil. "Essentially, all life depends upon the soil... There can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together." ~ Charles E. Kellogg
Topsoil is on the immediate surface of the Earth and serves as a medium for the growth of land plants.
The very top layer of soil is made up of broken up pieces of rock, and organic material such as dead leaves and plants, tree limbs, and dead bugs.
"The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks." ~ Tennesse Williams
Topsoil is alive with roots, tiny micro-materials like bacteria and fungi, and all kinds of bugs.
Weather helps to make soil. When hot weather expands rocks and cold weather contracts them. Over time, rocks crack and break up into small pieces that break into even smaller pieces, until eventually they turn into soil. Rain and ice can also get into rocks and break them apart.
The very top layer is called the humus layer. The organic material in this layer provides nutrients and minerals that plants need to survive. It also helps bind together the earth helping in moisture retention.
There are more living organisms in a cubic foot of soil than there are people in the United States.
Soil exists in up to two and a half meters of water. After that depth of water, it is no longer considered soil. Soil needs to be able to support a living plant with roots in a natural environment.
It can take 100 to 500 years to create one-inch of soil.
The average quarter acre lawn contains 50 to 250 earthworms.
The best china dishes are made from soil.
Throughout history, civilizations rose or fell depending on the fertility of their topsoil. "The Nation that destroys its soil destroys itself." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Almost all of the antibiotics we take to help us fight infections were obtained from soil microorganisms.
Agriculture is the only essential industry on earth.