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Lecture 9

HORT 15 Lecture 9: PLSC 235 soil fertility

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Soil fertility / fertilizers How soils holds and release nutrients - Soil fertility - the amount and availability of nutrients in the soil - Clays and organic matter are both cations, the more capacity they have the more is held and not a lot is leached away - When you add fertilizers, the nutrients have fewer places to absorb therefore it takes a long time to absorb - Anion exchange capacity - ( anions = negatively charged ions ) repelled by clay and organic matter. This only occurs under acidic soil conditions - Cation exchange capacity - ( cations = positively charged ions ) clay particles and organic matter hold onto nutrients, they both have a negative charge and attract nutrients with a positive charge Nutrient uptake - the nutrient has to absorb in water then the plant sucks up water. So the nutrients have to be water soluble - Drought is due ti the lack of water and lack of nutrient uptake which turns into nutrient deficiency pH - pH - measure of the acidity and basicity in the soil - As the amount of free H ions increase, the pH decreases and soil becomes more acid - As the amount of free OH ions increase, the pH increases and the soil becomes more basic - Most of SK is calcareous - Can you change the pH of the soil, yes you can. It is economical, the pH does have an impact if the nutrient availability. Certain microbes are more active in certain pH of soil ( more slightly acidic soils) - On large agriculture operations you don't want to because the soil has a natural buffing system. It is not ecumenical - Making an excessive amount of pH is bad - Fe ( iron ) micronutrients - is most often quite abundant in the soil but deficiencies often exist - Iron bacteria - convert ferrous iron to ferric under basic condition - What do you do if you see an deficiency? - Peat most it does saltily the soil a little more - If you add iron it converts to ferric - Spray it onto the plants ferrous sulphate, the iron absorbed through the microspores. Foliar application does work, although it does get a bit expensive - *** Aluminum - potential problem with adding other products - toxicity. It can tie up a bunch of nutrients in the soil. Excessive aluminum in human health is not good - You can change pH in containers / raising beds for acid loving plants like blueberries Soil fertility - !7 nutrients that are considered essential for plant growth; H, C, O from air / water - Macronutrients = neede
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