Some people would say that soil is just something that holds up a plant so that it can grow. Is that true? Is soil really that important anyway?

I believe that soil (or dirt) is not just a stabilizer for plants. It is much more important than that. It is a source of nutrients and life-giving water. Not to mention the home of numerous organisms which are helpful to mankind.

The nutrients that are found in the soil (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Iron etc) are essential for a healthy plant. These important nutrients provide the plants with a healthy environment in which to grow. Without these nutrients in the soil you would have a wilted, unhealthy looking plant.

Soil stores water. Water is essential for all life. Nothing can live without it! Dirt soaks up rainfall and in turn, the roots of plants use this water to sustain themselves. If soil was just used to keep the plant standing where would their water supply come from?

Dirt also provides other organisms with good homes. Things like earthworms, bacteria, and insects thrive in this environment. Some of these organisms can be helpful to plants as well. Earthworms (as we all know), dig holes and tunnels in the dirt. This can be very useful to plants because the tunnels that they dig become pockets that trap water, nutrients and oxygen inside. The plants, in turn use these things to help themselves grow.

So, what do you think about dirt? Is it just a support system for the plant or does is fulfill a higher purpose?


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