soil and soil-water relationships

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Soil and soil-water relationships. W. Anderson Murfreesboro Master Gardener Feb 20, 2009. From UTK Extension Publications Planning the Vegetable Garden SP291-M Soil Preparation for Vegetable Gardens SP 291-C Care of the Vegetable Garden SP 291-D Organic Vegetable Gardening PB 1391. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Soil and soil-water relationshipsW. Anderson Murfreesboro Master Gardener Feb 20, 2009

  • From UTK Extension PublicationsPlanning the Vegetable Garden SP291-MSoil Preparation for Vegetable Gardens SP 291-CCare of the Vegetable Garden SP 291-DOrganic Vegetable Gardening PB 1391

  • DefinitionsNatural medium composed of solids, liquids, and gases that occurs on land surfacesSupports plant and animal lifeUpper limit, lower limit, plant rootsDoes not cover all the Earth land surfaceIt is not tracked in on the house carpet

  • Soil ComponentsGeneral rule, a soil is about one-half solids and one-half poresWater and air fills the pore spaceSoil air is lower in O2 and higher in CO2 than surface airPlant rootsBiological organisms

  • Soil ComponentsSolidsSoil texture, relative proportion sands, silts, clays sized materials, separatesSand2.0 mm to .05 mmSilts.05 mm to .002 mmClaysless than .002 mmClay soils, large surface area; small poresSandy soils, small surface area, large poresClay and Sand differ in ability to provide plants with water, nutrients, aeration and physical supportSands are drier, less fertile but better aerated & able to support plants

  • Soil TextureTwelve textural classes3 clay textures, 3 clay loam textures, 3 loam textures0 to 100 % sand, silt and clay by weightExample: Clays, > 35% clay sized particlesTextural classPossible percentageClay20% sand, 20% silt, 60% clayClay loam 30% sand, 35% silt, 35% clayLoam40% sand, 40% silt, 20% clay

  • Soil ComponentsSolidsAggregate glue sand, silt and clay sized particles togetherGranular glue organic matter and calciumDestroy soil aggregates adding sodium Density- mass per volume-pore spaceTexturelbs/cu ft% pore spaceLoam8449Clay loam7953Clay7456


  • Soil Water Classification for Water Management Think of a soil as a sponge lift the saturated sponge up does water drip.SaturationGravitational water - drainableField Capacity [FC]Maximum Plant available waterPermanent wilting point [WP]Plant unavailable water Air dryUnavailable waterOven dry

  • Volumetric Soil Water Content RangesTextural classv @ FC v @ WPSand.07-.17.02-.07Loam.20-.30.07-.17Silt loam.22-.36.09-.21Clay.32-.40.20-.24Available Water = v @ FC - v @ WPv * inches of soil = inches of water in soil

  •, Clay Loam, and Silty Clay Loam SoilsAppearance of Clay, Clay Loam, and Silty Clay Loam Soils at Various Soil Moisture Conditions75 to 100 percent available 0.6 to 0.0 inches per foot depleted Wet, forms a ball, uneven medium to heavy soil/water coating on fingers, ribbons easily between thumb and forefinger.

  • IrrigationMaximize production, vegetable require 1 to 2 inches of water per week 1 inch of water over 100 square feet = 8.3 cubic feet or 520 lbs waterLess water early in growing seasonMore when plants are larger and setting fruitApply water slowlyDont do frequent shallow watering. Why? Shallow root growth you want deep roots

  • Irrigation (2)Irrigate early to reduce incident and spread of diseaseCultivate prior to overhead irrigation to increase water infiltrationTrickle irrigation, reduce water use by up to 50 timesReduces weed growth, weed problems, soil compactionExpensive

  • Irrigation (3)Irrigation systemBack flow preventer must be connected to water sourceScreen or disk filter10 to 12 psi pressure regulatorTrickle tapePressure gauge

  • Irrigation (4)Soaker hose non engineeredCheapNot uniform water distributionTrickle system can be purchased at garden centers for $100 to $200

  • Time Irrigation ProperlyWater late in day increase diseases Trickle, drip, furrow conserve water, avoid foliage diseasesSprinkler irrigation best done early morning apply 1 to 1 inches of water wait several days before repeatingLess frequent irrigation less foliage and root diseases

  • Use MulchesReduce some pest pressures but increase others Reduce moisture stressReduce weed pressure

  • Maintaining or Increasing Soil Organic MatterImproves structureHolds waterIncrease microbe activityStored and releases nutrientsPlants and animals (organic matter) decay to more stable organic matter called humusBalance between lost and added

  • Maintaining or Increasing Soil Organic Matter (2)Sandy soils less Soil organic matterClayey soils more soil organic matterMore soil mixing less soil organic matterTennessee warm moist climate favors decomposition

  • Using Crop ResiduesResidue source of organic matterLeft or compostedIf left may increase insect, disease and weed problemsTurning under breaks down faster releases some nutrientsFewer insect, disease and weed seed survive

  • Using Lime and Organic FertilizersIncrease Soil pHGround limestoneHow much? Soil testCalcite, dolomiteBasic slagWood ashes dont dump in one spot

  • Adding Nutrients - ManureManureN, P, KPoultry manure highest in N, P, and KSpread on garden before planting250-500 lbs large animal manure per 1000 square feet100 to 200 lbs poultry manure per 1000 square feetIrish potato and sweet potato develop scab and canker if manure is used

  • Adding Nutrients non-manureFertilizer%N %P2O5 %K2OBlood meal8-150-3---Bone meal2-412-28---Granite dust------3.5Greensand---1-1.55-6Wood ashes---1-23-7Guano.5-124-81-3

  • QuestionsWhat is soil? Why manage water? How can a soils field capacity be used to manage irrigation?Why should fertilizer be used? Can fertilizer improve a plants water use efficiency?

  • WaterPrecious resourceLost water means lost dollarsWhat is water use efficiency? Defined as equal to units of crop production from each available unit of waterExample: bushels of grain per inch of water

  • A long term fertility experiment has been conduct in Illinois. The experiment is called the Morrow Plots. The plots are on the National Historic Registry.

  • The Morrow Plots to gauge WUE Plots received only lime, manure, rock phosphate or bone meal from 1904 to 19551955 a portion of some plot received lime, and commercial fertilizer annuallyFertilized continuous corn used precipitation more efficientlyBetter management and improved varieties have also increased crop yield

  • The Morrow Plots can gauge WUEYields of both fertilized and unfertilized corn are increasing.from 1955-1984FertilizedNot Fertilized130-150 bu/acre40-50 bu/acre

  • The Morrow Plots can gauge WUEDry weather and poor fertility can reduce WUE. Proper fertilization that builds high fertility can help the crop overcome drought stress.from 1955-1984FertilizedNot Fertilized3.3 bu/inch of water1bu/inch if water

  • QuestionIf plants are fed the proper amounts of N, P2O5 & K2O will these plants:Produce more dry matter/acre: TorFRemove more CO2 from atmosphere: TorFWill decrease the amount of water percolation through the soil and regolith:TorFWill increase the amount of chemicals percolation through the soil and regolith to the ground water:TorFWill utilize water less efficiently:TorF

  • What a soil need to grow: 150 bu/ac of corn

    Ingredientpounds per acresuppliedWater6 to 8 million30 to 36 inches of rainOxygen10,200Carbon7800 C or carbon in 6 tons of coal28,500 CO2N310675 lbs ureaP52115 lbs TSPK205340 lbs KClCa58150 lbs ground limestoneS33Mg50Fe3Mn.45B.10CutraceMotrace

  • QuestionCost to remove 28,000 CO2/ac from atmosphere? {basis: cost of Nitrogen}

    675 lb Urea * 45 lb N/100 lb Urea =304lb N28,000 lb CO2/304 lb N =93 lb CO2/ 1 lb N93 lb CO2 /lb N * lb N/ $ 0.30 =310 lb CO2 / $1.00 of N

  • Typical topsoil approximate compositionSoilbasisSolidsliquidsGases% by vol502525InorganicOrganic% by vol 4010% by wt95 5

  • INORGANIC FractionORGANIC Fraction(decomposed things)SandSilt ClayHumusPrimarySecondaryColloidsMineralsMineralsQuartzlayer silicateFeldsparhydrous oxidemica

  • QuestionsWhat are primary minerals?

    What are secondary minerals?

  • Soil - Root System Rye plant in 1 cu ft of soil for 4 monthsLength milessurface area sq ftRoots3852550Root hairs66004320

  • QuestionsSoil resources in the USA (TN) do not have enough available nonmetals and metals elements for normal growth and development of plants and animals.TN land area -1980Cropland 5.1 million acGrassland 5.5 million acWoodland11.7 million ac Now 14 million acUrban 1.7 million acOther 1 million acFederal 1.2 million ac

  • Non-metal elementshuman functionNproteinSeantioxidantPbones & teeth

    Metalhuman functionCobaltvitamin B12 Znsexual maturityMnbone formation, Insulin ProductionCured blood cell formation

  • Questions

    EmphasizeThere is a difference between plant available content and total elemental contentSoil testing; plant available content

  • Other topicsSoil Testing, PB 1061 by Dr. H. SavoyLiming Acid Soils in Tennessee, PB 1096 by Dr H. Savoy

  • Additional topicsLandscape Irrigation by Dr. J Buchanan, CD in the extension officeCommercial WEB sitesRainBird Irrigation at www.rainbird now look under landscape irrigationToro Irrigation at Industries at www.hunterindustries.comBook Source: Simplified Irrigation Design ISBM 0-471-28622-22


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