Leaf mould, turf loam and garden soil

Leaf mould, turf loam and garden soil

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Three samples of different soil components.Leaf mould (left) is produced by the bulk decomposition of fallen autumn leaves. It has a high humus content and an open structure, but is low in plant nutrients. Turf loam (centre) is made by cutting turves and stacking for a period of 6 months or more. It has a low humus content, but a good balance of mineral particles ranging in size from clays through silts up to sand. The the right of the picture is a sample of soil from a garden in Norfolk UK. The garden soil is also of a low humus content, and contains mineral particles of larger sizes than the turf loam ( grits, gravel ). None of these samples is ideal for growing plants in pots on its own. A good compost requires a mixture of loam, with added humus, and added sand or grit to improve its drainage characteristics, together with fertilisers and lime to adjust the pH

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Keywords: biological, biology, botanical, botany, clay, compost, garden soil, humus, leaf mould, loam, mineral content, sand, silt, soil, turf loam

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