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The Amazing Importance of Soil Aeration

Aeration of the soil is one of the most important factors in plant growth. While fertilization and irrigation are common practices for farmers, the value of soil aeration is often overlooked and hence goes unnoticed. However, the favorable effects of soil aeration on root growth and activity assure healthy plants and, as a result, large harvests. Various soil aeration equipment and procedures allow for optimal air circulation in the subsurface, which helps to deliver crucial oxygen to the root zone. Aeration and fertilizer keep lawns healthy and green all year. Compacted and hard soils turn the lawn brown or yellow and encourage the growth of weeds. Aeration breaks up the soil, oxidizes it, and allows the roots to absorb the necessary nutrients and grow as quickly as possible.

You can read further down below information that you might need about soil aeration as well as the benefits that it can give.

Reactions and characteristics of soil

Poor aeration reduces microbial decomposition of soil organic wastes, resulting in organic matter accumulation. Aerobic microorganisms are active in well-aerated soil and use oxygen to convert simple carbohydrates to CO2 and water. Anaerobic microorganisms are active in submerged or decreased soil, converting carbohydrates to less CO2 and more CH4 (methane), a pollutant in the atmosphere. This process also produces organic acid, ethylene gas, and other compounds that are poisonous to plant roots and microorganisms. The aerobic decomposition process will be faster than the anaerobic process.

Plant and root development

Aeration of the soil is a crucial aspect in plant growth. Roots take in oxygen for respiration and expel CO2. For healthy plant growth, an appropriate supply of oxygen to roots and the removal of CO2 from the soil air are critical. When the supply of oxygen is insufficient, plant growth slows or stops entirely, as accumulating CO2 stifles the growth of plant roots. On root crops, the anomalous effect of limited aeration on root development is most obvious. On compact and poorly aerated soils, these plants’ roots have unusually formed roots. Root penetration and development are lacking. Such a young root system is unable to absorb enough moisture and nutrients from the soil.

Water and nutrient absorption

Aeration’s effects on plant nutrient uptake could be due to changes in nutrient availability in the soil as a result of aeration, or they could be due to changes in the plants’ metabolic condition. The aeration condition of the soil has little effect on nitrogen mineralization, while poor aeration due to flooding increases the availability of other nutrient elements like phosphorus, iron, and manganese. Under poor aeration (waterlogged) conditions, other micronutrients such as Cu and Zn exhibit deficiencies. As illustrated by the wilted appearance of many plants following flooding, poor aeration reduces water uptake. In the absence of adequate aeration, the permeability of roots to water is reduced.

Population and activity of microorganisms

For respiration and metabolism, microorganisms in the soil also require oxygen. Some key microbial processes, such as organic matter decomposition, nitrification, and sulfur oxidation, are dependent on the amount of oxygen in the soil air. The rate of microbial activity is slowed when there is a lack of oxygen in the soil air. Organic matter decomposition is slowed, and nitrification is halted. Poor aeration has a significant impact on the microorganism population.

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