Soil Archive

  • Earthworm

    The wonder of Earth’s worms

    Known for his famous work On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin’s name may be most synonymous with gallant seafarers, giant tortoises or the beaks of finches. However, in 1881,...

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  • Composting 5

    A guide to composting: Leaf litter

    Leaf litter is the simplest method yet: if you can collect deciduous leaves in the autumn and have some space in your garden, it’s easy to make good compost called...

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  • Composting 4

    A guide to composting: Vermiculture

    If you mainly have food scraps – vegetable scraps, egg shells, meat scraps and so on, wormeries are a good bet. Worms eat the food and process it, along with...

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  • Composting 3

    A guide to composting: Hot composting

    If you’ve got more time to spend tending your heap, hot composting will get you results faster. The bacteria need air and water along with the food, so you’ll need...

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  • Composting 2

    A guide to composting: Cool composting

    For cool composting, simply pile and mix your organic materials into a heap or in a bin, and carry on adding more material to the top. When you run out...

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  • Composting1

    A guide to composting

    A guide to composting (With thanks to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden) Making compost is a way of recycling organic waste into a nutrient-rich mixture that can be used to...

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  • Enriching soils, enriching lives

    Enriching soils, enriching lives

    Soil is a particularly important issue in mountainous areas – as topsoil can easily be washed away by rain. On common land, the challenge is to conserve soil so that...

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  • Soil3b-degradation-MAP-E

    Earth: the living layer 3

    Soil degradation In regions where there is plenty of moisture and organic matter – such as prairies – a few centimetres of soil can form in 50 years; in cold...

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  • Soil2c-suitability-MAP-E

    Earth: the living layer 2

    Soil suitability Soils vary in their fertility and ability to hold water and nutrients in the right amounts for agriculture. According to the FAO, only 11 per cent of the...

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  • Soil1-texturesE

    Earth: the living layer 1

    Most of the land surface of the planet is covered in a layer of soil – ranging from only a few centimetres to several metres thick. It is made up...

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