Class 3 NSO : Soil types

What is soil

Soil is formed by erosion that is breaking up of rocks , by the action of sun, wind and rain. It forms at the surface of land and  is the “skin of the earth.” Soil is capable of supporting plant life and is vital to life on earth.

Soil contains a lot of different things;  a few essential ingredients are listed below:

Sediment Every soil contains some mixture of sediments.  The three main sediments are sand, silt, and clay. The type of sediments  determines a soil’s typeIdeal soils (for farming) are a mixture of the three. 

Organic Matter – Soil contains a lot of partially decomposed organisms which is called organic matter. Microbes in the soil break it down to make important nutrients. Most organic matter comes from plants. This is also called Humus and is dark brown or black in color.

Minerals – There are tons of different minerals in the soil. They’re used by plants for growth. When plants die, their minerals return to the Earth.

Types of soil and properties



It is made up of very large grains which do not hold any water between them. They hold a lot of air. Gravel is used to make concrete, for road construction, for mixing with asphalt, as construction fill, and in the production of construction materials like concrete blocks, bricks, and pipes.

Sandy soil

In Sandy soil, there are more percentage of sand particles than in the other soil types.

Properties of Sandy soil

1. It is coarse grained
2. It has low plant nutrient
3. It drains easily
4. Sandy soil easily gets hot and cold
5. gray or brown in color
6. It does not support erosion
7. It is highly acidic
8. It does not support waterlogging
9. Leaching is high

Clayey soil

This type of soil contains more than 40% Clay particles with a mixture of fine sand and silt.

Properties of clayey soil

1. Made of very fine grains which stick together
2. High water holding capacity but holds very little air
3. Low possibility of leaching
4. It is highly stick when wet.
5. Usually light brown in colour .
6. It supports waterlogging.
7. It is usually fertile and good for farming.
8. It is alkaline and has a high proportion of mineral ions.

Loamy soil

This soil is a mixture of sand, clay and silt.

Properties of loamy soil

1. It can hold enough water and air for plant growth
2. It is rich in plant nutrient.
3. It withstands draughts for a fair period of time.
4. It is well aerated.
5. It has high water holding capacity.
6. It is alkaline in nature.
7. It has colours ranging from brown to dark brown or black.
8. It is the best soil for farming

Best crops to grow in Sandy, clayey and loamy soil 

Best crops to grow in Sandy soil

Crops varieties such as vegetables, Cowpea, cotton, groundnut, cassava, melon, beans, watermelon etc can be grown in Sandy soil.

Best crops to grow in clayey soil

Cocoyam, Yam, maize, rice, cucumber, tomato, okro, banana, plantain, orange, cocoa, rubber.

Best crops to grow in loamy soil

Maize, cassava, watermelon, tomato, pepper, onions, carrot, yam, potatoes, pineapple, pawpaw, melon.

Layers of Soil

Topsoil – A layer with slightly less organic matter and more sediment. Its saturated with plant roots, looking for nutrients.

Subsoil – A layer which collects (or leaches) materials from the topsoil. It’s a thieving layer! It is harder than the top soil.

Bedrock – The beginning of the Earth’s crust. It is solid rock.



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