Learn how to get the most out of your allotment by reading information on each plant and the tools and equipment you might need.

Soil is the ground underneath our feet!

Seedling showing roots

Soil is where the plants roots grow;

The soil is made up of water, air,minerals, plant and animal waste and living creatures and also the roots of the plants.

It is vital for plants to have a healthy root system. The roots absorb the water that the plant needs to grow.

The soil plays other roles too, its where the plant get the food it needs to grow. This food is found in the form of fertilisers. These can be man made fertilisers or natural fertilisers. Natural fertilisers are dead plant leaves, stem and roots that have been turned into castings (faeces) from the worms or certain broken up rocks such as limestone. Man made fertilisers are chemicals that are sprayed onto the plants.

The plant and animal waste is built up of dead plants and animals that have decayed and bugs/bacteria have turned it into soil. Worms break down the plants leaves, stem and roots and turn it into a rich plant food. Flies and bacteria break down dead animals and turn it into a rich plant food. This is because blood and bones and organs have lots of minerals and nutrients in them.

Soil is broken down into four layers;

Diagram of soil layers

Humus is decaying/decayed plant matter.

Organic is plant roots and creatures such as moles or worms or bateria. Did you know there are 100 million - 1 billion bacteria in a teaspoon of soil.

Top soil is the first 2-8 inches of soil

Sub soil usually contains alot of clay, sand and silt but doesnt contain many organic elements.

Bed rock is the rock underneath all the soil and is the start of the earths crust. It is usually very tough and hard.