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Testing the Physical and Chemical properties of soils .

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Introduction

3/8/2010 James Webber 12F Mr. Reemeijer Physical and Chemical properties of soils 1.0 Introduction Different Soils types are important in determining which vegetation will grow in a particular environment, if any at all. There are a lot of characteristics of soils that are important in finding the amount of soil that could be found in that particular area. If these characteristics are known, introducing suitable plants for that particular area is far easier and in-term more successful. There is a multifaceted range or variety of materials in soils composition, including actions from weather on rock and biotic factors. The materials from rock include clay, silt and sand. Sand is permeable and is very easy to identify however silt and clay are not. Silt is made from very fines particles therefore the texture of silt is very powdery. Clay is also composed of very fine particles. It is the result of chemical decay of rocks as their physical shape is worn down or corroded. Clay is also chemically active therefore its binds very easily to itself and other soil components, therefore if there is too much binding, the soil become hard and lumpy making it porous meaning it retains water. http://www.garden.ie/gardeningskills.aspx?id=541 The biotic factors include humus and organic matter which is the material from the decay of once living organisms, both plant and animal. ...read more.

Middle

TDS* 150 90 220* 260* 140 90 Part E - * wrong information calculated Part G - * tap water instead of distilled water/ pH probe pin dodgy Part I - * tap water instead of distilled water/ TDS probe pin dodgy Part B - * wrong calculations Problems 12/02/2010 - part B - Soil A group miscalculated their percentages however I corrected them but group A may still be wrong. 10/02/2010 - part F - Had to re-test 4 times because we added too much distilled water because of the inaccuracy of the bottle pump. 12/02/2010 -part E - one group from each soil A and D miscalculated their data 17/02/2010 -part G/I - Second group testing soil B used tap water instead of distilled water for both part G and I. Group testing soil B used tap water instead of distilled water for both part G and I. 5.0 Analysis Upon analysing the results, it is evident that for both part A and Part B soil classification, both soils C and Soil D have the closest theoretical soil classification characteristics. This is stated by http://www.garden.ie/gardeningskills.aspx?id=541, where it says loamy sand contains a high percentage of sand which helps speed up the infiltration rate. A good way to identify the soil types for soils is by using the soil texture triangle. ...read more.

Conclusion

Small cropping requires loamy soils, this means that soil D is the best soil as it comprises of a high percentage of sand, a high percentage of organic matter, a high water holding capacity percentage and a quick infiltration time. Because of the high percentage of organic matter in the soil, soil D's pH level is very low however if this organic matter wasn't there, the soils pH level would be greatly increased therefore being the best of the four soils tested for pH levels. Although soil D has a high percentage of organic matter, there is enough sand in the soil to allow water to be drained out through the pores in the soil however still holding all the nutrients in the soil which are key elements for the production of vegetables. Because of this high percentage of organic matter in the soil, soil D's water holding capacity is greatly improved. If there wasn't so much organic matter, the soils infiltration rate would be sped up a lot because the soil is sand based which is very permeable. Because of all of these characteristics, soil D is the most plausible soil type for growing vegetables for small cropping/ market gardening in the South East Queensland region. 7.0 Reference 1. Mr. Reemeijer - science 21 teacher 2. http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/horticulture/5170.html 3. http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/55/23855-004-DB8875C1.gif 4. http://www.garden.ie/gardeningskills.aspx?id=541 5. http://www.soilsensor.com/images/soiltriangle_large.jpg 6. http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/MauiSoil/maui.aspx 7. http://library.thinkquest.org/J003195F/newpage4.htm 8. http://soils.usda.gov/technical/classification/orders/ 9. http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/pastures/4064.html 10. http://www.annettemcfarlane.com/vegetable.htm 11. http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdf?vid=5&hid=8&sid=4c4c803d-504b-49a5-871c-9ab22fb7a371%40sessionmgr14 8.0 Appendix Results for soils A1,B1,C1,D1 ...read more.

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