Soils vary greatly in their nutrient holding capacity. This is mainly determined by soil texture, or the proportion of sand, silt and clay particles. The size of each particle is also important. Each of these variables influences many different soil functions. A soil with lots of sand and little organic matter has a lower cation exchange capacity (CEC). CEC is the ability of a soil to hold onto negatively charged nutrients, preventing them from leaching into surface or groundwater. CEC is improved by the addition of organic matter and the presence of bacteria and fungi that break down dead plant material, releasing nutrients for plants.
A healthy soil is a complex and dynamic system of mineral particles, water, air and microorganisms. Soil is so much more than dirt, and it can be difficult to improve. A good programme of soil improvement includes limiting tillage and using cover crops, adding compost and organic amendments and establishing cropping practices that reduce nutrient loss. For Nutrient Management Planning, go to a site like 4rreassurance
The most important input to improving any soil is organic matter. It improves soil physical properties, such as allowing for good drainage and aeration. It also provides nutrients and improves the moisture holding capacity of the soil. Organic matter is made of living, decomposing plant and animal residue in varying stages of decay, along with the enzymes secreted by microorganisms that act as glue to bind the soil particles together. When fully decomposed, organic matter becomes humus, a rich source of nutrients for plants. Organic material can be added to the soil through crop residues, compost, manure or mulches.