Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892



Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Discuss Concepts Gardeners often add a humus-rich “soil conditioner” to garden plots before they plant. Adding the conditioner helps aerate the soil, and the decomposing organic materials in humus provide nutrients. If the plot is for annual plants, it often must be reconditioned year after year, even though the gardener faithfully pulls weeds, fertilizes seedlings, applies chemicals to curtail disease-causing soil microbes, and immediately tosses out the mature plants (along with any plant debris) when they have finished bearing. Suggest some reasons why reconditioning is necessary in this scenario, and some strategies that could help limit the need for it.

Summary Introduction

To review:

The need for reconditioning the soil for a plot where annual plants are grown and the strategies that can help in limiting the need for reconditioning.


Annual plants are the plants that complete their life cycle in a year. This means that from germination to development of new seeds on the plant takes a year. After completion of the growth year, the plant dies. Continuous farming on land results in deteriorating the soil quality.


The reconditioning of soil is important due to various reasons, even if the gardener fertilizes the soil, pulls out the weeds, and applies chemicals to curtail disease-causing soil microbes. The constant use of chemical fertilizers can result in disturbing the natural composition, pH, and water holding capacity of the soil. Pulling out the weeds also results in loosening of the soil.

The killing of bacteria also affects the fertility of the soil by altering the natural interactions of soil and naturally occurring bacteria. The use of chemical fertilizers with a specific mineral can also lead to the buildup of that specific mineral in the soil, thereby, affecting the composition of the soil...

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