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Chemicals and Soils

  • Plant Nutrition and Soils (Chemistry in the Garden) (PDF 437 kb)
    This article describes the composition of soils (clay, humus and sand being the main ingredients), sources of plant nutrients and their replacement (manure, compost and synthetic fertiliser), and analysis of soils (important to obtain the best conditions for a particular crop).
  • The Lime Industry (PDF 69 kb)
    This article describes the quarrying of limestone (CaCO3), its conversion into two other 'lime'products, burntlime (CaO) and hydrated lime, (Ca(OH)2), and their uses.
  • Soil Acidity and Liming (PDF 39 kb)
    This article describes how lime is added to soils to raise the pH, the main benefits of doing this being to increase the availability of phosphorus and molybdenum, to prevent aluminium and manganese toxicity and encouragement of more productive pasture species.
  • The Fate of Phosphate Fertiliser in Soils (PDF 59 kb)
    This article describes the chemistry of both inorganic and organic phosphorus containing species present in soils, the effect of phosphate fertilisers on the cycling of phosphate in soils, and how the need for phosphate fertiliser is determined.