Soil Creation

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Q1. You are asked to create soil that would be considered very fertile. What would you include in your "recipe?" I would try to create a soil order all of my own, combining Inceptisols and Mollisols unique characteristics. My terrain for my soil to be placed would be on a mostly flat to gently sloping surface to provide good drainage, minimum erosion, and sufficient time for nutrients to drain into the soil. My “O” soil horizon will be mostly compost made from fallen leaves and other organic materials that will provide most of my plants with all the nutrients they need. I will try not to have too much organic matter, as it may lead to salt build-up, large releases of nitrogen, the build-up of excessive phosphorus, and an imbalance in potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. In this horizon, would be fungi and bacteria, which would be decomposing my fallen leaves and other organic matter. Protozoa, nematodes, and mites will feed on them, releasing nutrients that can be directly absorbed by my plants. There will also be larger organisms in this layer which will feed off the smaller ones, providing fecal matter that becomes part of the soils nutrients as well. My “A” Horizon would still have some characteristics of the above “O” Horizon (A more decomposed version), but would consist or 3 main ingredients, the first being Nitrogen, as it stimulates plant root growth and the uptake of other nutrients. Most nitrogen is derived from the decomposition of organic matter and nitrogen fixation by bacteria. My soil will also be abundant in Phosphorus to enhance photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation, flowering, fruiting, and seed production. It also encourages root development. The main source of phosphorus is the decomposition of organic matter. Potassium will be my third main ingredient as it is known to activate 80 enzymes responsible for basic plant processes such as carbohydrate metabolism and photosynthesis. It is critical to reducing the loss of water from leaves and...
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