EDUCATION

Top 10 Uses Of Soil

Uses Of Soil
Written by Antra Kamble

Many people are not familiar with the brilliant uses of soil found in our everyday life. Soil plays an important role in our Earth’s ecosystem. Without soil human life would be very difficult. Soil is identified as one of the major factors in maintaining a healthy ecosystem. In my column, I will discuss the different types of soil, composition, and numerous uses of soil.  It is known as the “skin of the earth” as it is formed at the surface of the earth. Just grab a cup of coffee and lets us study the different uses of soil.

List Of The Top 10 Uses Of Soil

Below I have listed down the top 10 uses of soil for you.

  1. In Agriculture
  2. To Make Medicine
  3. In Pottery
  4. For Construction
  5. In Waste Decay
  6. To Make Cosmetic Products
  7. For Purifying Water
  8. For Food
  9. It Protects From Erosion
  10. Exchange Of Oxygen And Gases

Top 10 Uses Of Soil

We all know that soil supports all types of plant life in several ways. The list of different Uses Of Soil sounds never-ending! Without wasting any more time, let us study the uses of soil in detail.

  1. In Agriculture

Soil is a mixture of minerals, nutrients, water, air, organic matter, and microorganisms. It is found that there are a variety of uses of soil in agriculture. They provide plants the necessary nutrients for their growth for human and animal needs. The type of soil used in agriculture varies with respect to the species of the plants that are cultivated. There are 13 essential plant nutrients that come from the soil. The plants that grow in the soil can be used for food and clothing.

  1. To Make Medicine

You must be surprised to know that there are many uses of soil found in making medicines! There are some organisms called microbes that are created in the soil. Microbes are tiny organisms that are not even visible to your naked eyes. These microbes are very harmful to bacteria, which is why soil is used in medicine. Medicines like skin ointments, tuberculosis drugs, and anti-tumor drugs are produced by soil. They are commonly used in antibiotics also.

  1. In Pottery

Do you know what are the uses of soil in pottery? There are various raw materials provided by soil, such as nutrients, microbes, and minerals. Ancient pottery was made by using different types of soils and sediments. Clay soils are still used for creating modern pottery and ceramics. Potters can mold the clay soil into pots, bowls, plates, etc. when it is mixed with water. Adobe bricks made from clay have been used for centuries. Even modern bricks made from clay are used for burning, firing, or drying.

  1. For Construction

One of the most important uses of soil is found in mining and constructing buildings. There are a lot of building materials made from soil (bricks). Therefore, soil serves as a foundation for most construction projects. When soil is mixed with cement, the density of the soil increases which holds the material firmly. The main purpose of compaction is to improve the load support. A massive amount of soil can be used in surface mining, road building, and dam construction. Earth sheltering is an architectural practice that uses soil for the external thermal mass against building walls.

  1. In Waste Decay

Waste management is one of the best uses of soil as It has soil as the main component in it. The layers of soil help in decaying waste and harmful pollutants. The natural decomposition process speeds up with the help of microorganisms found in soil. These microorganisms turn the organic matter found in soil into a waste product rich in nutrients. This process is necessary otherwise we can find a land full of dead animals, plants, and human bodies. This decayed organic matter is responsible for making petroleum products.

  1. To Make Cosmetic Products

Women love to use organic makeup and skincare products. In these products, the use of solid plays an important role. There are some beauty products that are made with soil. Soil is used in some common beauty products like blush and foundation. You can also find soil in clay that can be used in facial masks and toothpaste. Thus, these are some non-agricultural uses of soil.

  1. For Filtering And Purifying Water

Uses of soil play a vital role in filtration and purifying water. Soil serves as a filter when the soil surface contains harmful pollutants that sift down into the soil. The rainwater is filtered through the many horizons of soil and renamed groundwater. This natural filtering process is vital for the growth of plants and trees. Many pollutants are filtered out as the water moves through different areas such as wetlands, forests, and riparian zones. Pollutants such as viruses, oil, metals, excess nutrients, and sediments are filtered out with the help of soil.

  1. For Food

There are many uses of soil for animals too! Some animals directly or indirectly depend on the soil for food. The entire insect population also relies on soil for its survival. From pollinators to ants depends on soil for their survival. There are also underground critters such as earthworms, spiders, millipedes, and centipedes that rely on the soil for survival. The grazing animals rely on the soil to produce grasses. While grazing animals rely on the soil to provide homes and protection.

  1. It Protects From Erosion

Plants and trees need protection against erosion. Soil provides a way for the plant and trees to anchor themselves to remain vertical. Here, soil gives the roots system enough support to keep plants and trees during severe windstorms and other types of weather. This will prevent them from being swept away in heavy rainstorms. There are many ways you can protect soil from erosion and contamination. Minimizing the usage of pesticides is the first step towards protecting them from harmful chemicals.

  1. Exchange Of Oxygen And Gases

Oxygen and some other gases are trapped among the spaces between the particles in the soil. This provides oxygen to the plants and tree roots. The tree roots utilize oxygen to break down various sugars from the rhizosphere and soil microorganisms. These help the plants and trees to speed up their growth. The soil stores more carbon than plants and trees. These uses of soil help to determine how much carbon is stored and is released.

Uses Of Soil For Grade 4

Kids who love playing outdoors always find dirt on their clothes, shoes, or even under their fingernails! This dirt is known as soil which performs many critical functions in almost any ecosystem. Below I have listed down seven general uses of soil for grade 4.

  • It serves as a medium for the growth of all kinds of plants.
  • Plants that grow on soil can be used for food, clothing, medicines, etc.
  • Soil modifies our atmosphere by emitting and absorbing gases and dust.
  • Soil provides a habitat for animals who live in the soil.
  • Soil absorbs, holds, releases, and purifies most of the water in earthly systems.
  • It processes recycled nutrients so that living things can use them.
  • Soil acts as a medium for the construction of foundations, roadbeds, dams, and buildings.
  • It acts as a filter to clean water.
  • Soil is used in wastewater treatment plants.
  • Clay soil can be used for making ceramics or pottery.
  • Many medicines are created from the soil such as skin ointments, tuberculosis drugs, and anti-tumor drugs.

Different Types Of Soil And Uses

You must also know the different types of soils after studying the uses of soil in everyday life. Soils can be categorized into different soil types with distinct characteristics. You need to choose the correct type of soil to support the healthy growth of plant life. I have presented the list of types of soil that you must know.

  • Sandy Soil
  • Clay Soil
  • Loam Soil
  • Peat Soil
  • Chalk Soil
  • Silt Soil

The most commonly used from the above list are Sandy, Loam, and Clay soil. Continue reading to know more about each of the above types of soil.

  • Sandy Soil

Sandy soil has large particles in it and is not compact. Water and nutrients drain away very quickly from the plant roots. This makes it hard to retain which is why it is not ideal for plant growth. However, it does allow a lot of air to get absorbed into the soil.

  • Clay Soil

Clay soil is a very compact type of soil. The particles in this soil are packed closely together. This allows them to retain a lot of water and nutrients. These soils are known to be very rich and dense in nature. But remember that it also limits the air and moisture penetration. They are very good for growing plants that need a lot of water.

  • Loam Soil

Loam soil is perfect for plants as it has the right mixture of clay. A mixture of sand, silt, and clay soil are combined to avoid the negative effects of each type. Loam soils are fertile, easy to work and provide good drainage. The basic uses of loam soil include growing plants, making bricks, etc.

  • Silt Soil

It is a light and moisture-retentive soil type that is high in fertility rating. Silt soil contains medium-sized particles that hold moisture very well. They can be easily compacted as the particles are very fine. The silt particles can be bounded into more stable clumps by adding organic matter into them.

  • Peat Soil

Peat soil is very high in organic matter which retains a larger amount of moisture. This type of soil is very rarely found in gardens. They are often imported into a garden to provide the best soil base for planting.

  • Chalk Soil

Chalk soils are always highly alkaline due to the presence of calcium carbonate or lime within their structure. This soil will not support the growth of ericaceous plants that require acidic soils to grow. Gardeners use chalk soil only for the chosen plants who prefer alkaline soil.

Composition Of Soil And Uses

All the above-mentioned types of soils are composed of four materials. The soil composition is an important aspect of nutrient management. The list of basic components of soil is discussed below.

  • Air: All types of soil are made up of small holes and pockets of space to store air. Typically, the soil consists of 20 to 30% air. This air is very rich in carbon dioxide.
  • Water: These small holes and pockets of space in the soil also store water. The soil contains about 20 to 30% water. The source of water is usually rain or irrigation. Thus, the soil retains as much water it can for healthy plant growth.
  • Rocks: You may find a lot of little rocks, gravel sand, and stones in the soil. All these particles are present due to the erosion of bigger rocks. The soil contains about 45% rocks.
  • Dead Organisms: You can also find so many dead and decaying organisms in the soil. The soil consists of about 5% of organic matter. Bacteria, fungi, earthworms, etc. are some examples of dead organisms.

Importance Of Soil

Soil is extremely important for the various functions it provides for plants, trees, animals, and humans. My below guide will help you understand why soil is so important to all forms of living organisms.

  • Soil acts as a growing medium for plants and trees.
  • It provides plant life all forms of nutrients and minerals to grow.
  • Soil gives the root system of plants the needed support to be uprooted during harsh weather.
  • Soil plays a major role in the ecosystem.
  • The marine soils nourish seagrasses and seaweeds that feed marine life.
  • It filters unwanted and harmful contaminants away from the roots of plants.
  • Soil plays an important part in construction projects such as homes and buildings.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Soil

As now you have learned all the uses of soil in detail, let us see its advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages

  • Sandy soil prevents plants from becoming waterlogged.
  • They are very easy to dig or mix around.
  • Clay Soils are very fertile which is very good for plants and trees.
  • Loam Soil is rich in nutrients and retains water well.

Disadvantage

  • Sandy soil is very poor in nutrients.
  • When the clay soil heats up, it cakes and becomes hard.
  • Loam soil requires a lot of water for plant growth.

FAQ

What Are The 10 Uses Of Soil?

Following is the list of the 10 uses of soil.

  1. Agriculture
  2. Medicine
  3. Pottery
  4. Construction
  5. Waste Decay
  6. Cosmetic Products
  7. Purifying Water
  8. For Food
  9. Protects From Erosion
  10. Exchange Of Oxygen And Gases

What Is Soil And Its Uses?

Soil is the topmost layer of the earth’s surface which is a mixture of minerals, water, air, organic matter, and organisms. I have mentioned the uses of soil below for you.

  • It serves as a medium for the growth of all kinds of plants.
  • Plants that grow on soil can be used for food, clothing, medicines, etc.
  • Soil modifies our atmosphere by emitting and absorbing gases and dust.
  • Soil provides a habitat for animals who live in the soil.
  • Soil absorbs, holds, releases, and purifies most of the water in earthly systems.
  • It processes recycled nutrients so that living things can use them.
  • Soil acts as a medium for the construction of foundations, roadbeds, dams, and buildings.
  • It acts as a filter to clean water.
  • Soil is used in wastewater treatment plants.
  • Clay soil can be used for making ceramics or pottery.
  • Many medicines are created by soil such as skin ointments, tuberculosis drugs, and anti-tumor drugs.

What Are The 3 Uses Of Soil?

I have picked out the top 3 best uses of soil for you.

  • It serves as a medium for the growth of all kinds of plants.
  • Plants that grow on soil can be used for food, clothing, medicines, etc.
  • Soil modifies our atmosphere by emitting and absorbing gases and dust.

What Are the 5 Main Functions Of Soil?

Following are the 5 main functions of soil in the global ecosystem.

  • It acts as a medium for plant growth.
  • It also acts as a purifier for various water supplies.
  • They recycle raw materials.
  • Soil is a natural habitat for soil organisms.
  • Soil acts as a landscaping and engineering medium for humans.

Conclusion

So, you have learned all the uses of soil and the different types in detail. Most living organisms require air, food, water, and shelter to survive. Similarly, soil also plays a vital role for maintaining a healthy ecosystem. Humans use soils for various purposes such as agriculture, medicine, pottery, construction, etc. They are capable of storing large amounts of organic carbon. We build our house with bricks made from clay. Thus, I have discussed all the possible uses of soils all the students and adults must know.

About the author

Antra Kamble

Hi, I amAntra Kamble. I enjoy drawing paintings and watching movies in my free time. I also love to travel and explore new places, learn new things. I am fond of writing and reading.

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