Cooperative Extension
MG Manual Home
Chapter 2:   MG Manual Reference
Ch. 2, pp. 1 - 43

Soils and Fertilizers

Soil is formed when rock (parent material) is broken down by climate, organisms and vegetation over a period of time. It is made up of weathered rock fragments and decaying remains of plants and animals (organic matter). It also contains varying amounts of air, water, and microorganisms. It furnishes mechanical support and nutrients for growing plants.

Fertilizers are materials containing essential plant nutrients that are added to the environment around the plant. Generally, they are added to irrigation water or soil, but some can also be added to the air or sprayed on plant leaves. Fertilizer is not plant food; plants produce their own food using water, carbon dioxide, and energy from the sun. This food (sugars and carbohydrates) is combined with the plant nutrients to produce protein, enzymes, vitamins, and other compounds essential for plant growth.

Chapter 2 Index:

[ Soils | Properties | Classes | Caliche | Depth | Components | PH ]

[ Fertilizers | Analysis | Types | Organic | Applying | Application | Improving | Compost ]

Search Index Comment

This site was developed for the Arizona Cooperative Extension, College of Agriculture, The University of Arizona.
© 1998 The University of Arizona. All contents copyrighted. All rights reserved.