What is Soil Fertility?
“Soil fertility refers to the ability of the soil to sustain plant growth.”
Fertile soil results in high yield and better quality of plants. Fertile soil is rich in fundamental elements and minerals, has good aeration, water holding capacity, and good texture.
Let us have a look at what is soil fertility and how can it be replenished.
Factors Affecting Soil Fertility
The following factors affect the soil fertility:
The mineral composition of the soil helps to predict the ability of the soil to retain plant nutrients. Application of proper fertilizers and manures helps in enhancing the quality of the soil.
Soil pH helps in maintaining the nutrient availability of the soil. A pH range between 5.5-7 is optimum for soil fertility.
The minerals of different sizes are responsible for maintaining the structure of the soil. Clayey soil can retain more nutrients and hence acts as a nutrient reservoir.
Organic matter is a source of nitrogen and phosphorus. These can be mineralized and made available to the plants.
Also Read: Biofertilizers
Nutrients can be replenished in the following ways:
Adding Manures and Fertilizers
Fertilizers such as nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus are added to the soil to make it fertile. These are also added to the potted plants in gardens to enhance plant growth. NPK and urea are the most common fertilizers required by the soil. Urea adds nitrogen to the soil. Whereas, NPK adds nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus to the soil.
Leguminous plants contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria such as Rhizobium in the root nodules. These bacteria trap atmospheric nitrogen and make it available to the plants in the form of nitrogen compounds. The remaining nitrogen compounds are mixed with the soil to increase its fertility.
Also Read: Rhizobium
To know more about soil fertility, factors affecting soil fertility and replenishment of soil fertility, keep visiting BYJU’S website or download BYJU’S app for further reference.