Entry 19: What is the soil like at your school? Here are some questions to ask when examining soil: What color are the particles? Is the soil moist or dry? Are there a lot of rocks in the soil? What is its texture? Record your findings in your Agronaut Log.
Loam is soil that has the best mixture of clay, sand and humus for growing plants. In trying to get the right balance of nutrients, many people make their own organic material and add it to the soil. It is called compost. Composting is the natural breakdown of plants and other once-living materials. As the materials die and break down they release nutrients for other plants to use. Composting happens in nature when leaves on the forest floor decay and pass their nutrients on to the soil, but humans can also make compost. To make a compost pile, add the right combination of dead leaves, lawn clippings, and food scraps. The compost pile must be stirred now and then so that air can help the material to decay. Tiny creatures called microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, break down the organic matter, and heat is produced when this happens. When a compost pile is working well, it can get very hot in the middle!
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