Organic matter is the carrier through which the soil nutrients become more efficient. The organic matter has a positive impact in:
1. the physical properties of the soil
- Improves soil structure
- Increases the porosity of the soil
- Improves water and soil aeration
- Reduces soil erosion
- Increases soil temperature due to its black color (increased solar radiation absorption).
2. the chemical properties of the soil
- Has a buffer action protecting the soil from large fluctuations of pH (adjusts pH)
- Increases the soil's ability to retain nutrients. Therefore, it increasing the b. It increases the soil's ability to retain nutrients. Increasing the Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) of the soil. This index has a great effect on the yield (%) of the inorganic fertilizers we add.
- Binds, through its microorganisms, the atmospheric nitrogen and attributes it to the plants when it is degraded. A soil with a 2% organic content may contain 1% organic nitrogen, which can yield 8 kg of inorganic N per acre (Houliaras, Papasttelatos 1990).
- Provides nutrients in the soil, which are essential for the growth of plants (macro-trace elements).
- Converts nutrients that are inactive to the soil (eg phosphorus, potassium, iron etc) into active and thus available.
- The carbon / nitrogen ratio (C / N), which plays an important role in the assimilation of plant nutrients from the soil.
C/N>30: the nitrogen is immobilized
C/N between 20-30: the nitrogen is neither immobilized nor released
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3. the biological properties of the soil
- Contains a large number of microorganisms.
- Creates the right conditions for the activity and development of soil micro-organisms
- Activates the microorganisms that have already existed in the soil and adds many other microorganisms through organic fertilization.