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12: Soils, Fertility, and Plant Growth

  • Page ID
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    Learning objectives
    • Understand how the texture, structure, and fertility of soil affect plant growth.
    • Appreciate the different types of soil and manufactured soil-less media for growing plants.

    When a plant grows in soil or potting mix it removes nutrients as well as water from the soil. Although a plant produces (fixes) its own carbon-based molecules from photosynthesis, all other nutrients are taken up by the roots from soil. As we harvest plant material and dead plant material decomposes, these nutrients are depleted. This lesson discusses how this process changes soil structure, texture, and fertility.

    Thumbnail: Soil. Natural Resources Conservation Service Soil Health CampaignCC BY 2.0

    This page titled 12: Soils, Fertility, and Plant Growth is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Tom Michaels, Matt Clark, Emily Hoover, Laura Irish, Alan Smith, and Emily Tepe (Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.