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Name: __________________________________________ Date: _______________________Per______Assign.


Soil Student Notes

Soil is:


The amount of sand, silt, and clay determines the ____________________________.

Different types of soil have different ______________________ and ______________________.

When an optimal proportion of sand, silt and clay are found in soil, this soil is called ________________.
Different types of soils and different pH levels will support different________________ life.
Most plants prefer a pH level between ____________________________.
Soil begins as _________________________ or parent material. As the bedrock ___________________ and organic
matter is added, it begins to develop into a material that can support plant life.
As soil forms, it develops distinctive layers called _______________________________.
When soil horizons are viewed together from the side, it is called the ____________________________.

Plants make their own food using energy from ______________________ and essential nutrients in the form of
chemical elements. Plants require some nutrients in large amounts for good growth. These are called
_________________________________. Macronutrients include: _______________________
Plants get carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen from ______________________________________________.
Plants get nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium from _____________________________.

Nitrogen is required by the plant to make _____________________, provide for __________________, and produce
healthy _______________________.
All plants need nitrogen (in the form of nitrates) for __________________________ which are needed for making
__________________________. Proteins are needed for ____________________________. But the nitrogen in the
atmosphere is not in a form that plants can use. Plants get the nitrogen they need from the soils or water in which they
live mostly in the form of inorganic _______________ (NO3-).
Potassium is necessary for ______________________________ throughout the plant. (Rapid cell growth happens in
root tips and buds.) It also helps plants resist disease and survive in dry or freezing weather. It helps plants make strong
Phosphorus is necessary for ___________________ development and growth. It helps plants grow strong and helps
them produce _______________________ and ______________________.
Fertilizers have three numbers on them. The first represents the percentage of __________________, the second, the
percentage of ____________________, and the third the percentage of ____________.

Soil Horizons

___________________ Layer (O-horizon)

The ___________________ layer; it is ___________________ in organic material.
Plant litter ___________________ in the ___________________ and gradually decays.
In ___________________ soils the O-horizon is completely ___________________, but in
certain organically rich soils it may be the dominant layer.

___________________ (A-horizon)
It is ___________________ and rich in ___________________ organic matter and humus.
It has a ___________________ texture and is somewhat ___________________ due to the loss
of many nutrient minerals to deeper layers and by ___________________.

___________________ (B-horizon)
The light-colored subsoil beneath the ___________________ it is often a zone of illuviation
where ___________________ minerals have leached out of the topsoil and litter accumulate.
It is typically ___________________ in ___________________ and ___________________
compounds and clay.
Parent Material (___________________)
This contains weathered pieces of ___________________ and borders the
___________________ solid parent material. Most roots do not go down this deep and it is
often saturated with ___________________.