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Notes on Soil and Climate Limiting Factors for Horticultural Crops

Notes on Soil and Climate Limiting Factors for Horticultural Crops:

Source: Introduction to Horticulture by N. Kumar

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  • The soil provides nutrients and water for plant growth.
  • Soil fertility, reaction, and drainage impact horticultural crop productivity.

Kinds of Soil:

  • Soils are classified based on particle size, relative amount of various sizes, and organic/inorganic matter content.
  • Inorganic soils have less than 10% organic matter in the surface layer.
  • The inorganic portion includes sand, silt, and clay.

Sandy Soils:

  • Coarse textured with large pore-spaces.
  • Poor water-holding capacity and low nutrient retention.
  • Suitable for vegetables for early crops and rapid root growth.
  • Common medium for propagating cuttings.
  • Need considerable nutrients for optimal horticultural production.

Loamy Soils:

  • Contain sand, silt, and clay.
  • Described as sandy loam, silty loam, or clay loam based on predominant component.
  • Sandy loams yield early crops compared to silt or clay loams.
  • All loam types are highly suitable for horticultural production.

Clay Soils:

  • Fine textured with very small pore spaces.
  • Unsuitable for most horticultural crops, especially root and tuber crops, unless improved with organic matter.
  • Better nutrient attraction, holding, and release compared to other soil types.
  • Mangoes grow well in rich clayey soil but with more vegetative growth and less fruit production.

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