Soil is important to plants because it stores nutrients and serves as a medium for growth. It is an anchor for roots and also holds water needed by plants for moisture. Soil contains the air, water and food that provides a suitable place for plants to grow.
The properties of soil that affect plant growth include texture, aeration (i.e., permeability), porosity, water holding capacity and aggregate size.
A vital function of soil is storing and supplying minerals and nutrients essential for plant life. This is referred to as soil fertility. The proportions of clay and organic matter found in soil influence its fertility.
As a regulator and collector of water, soil absorbs and stores moisture for plants and organisms to use. It also shelters plants against extreme temperatures and protects roots from direct sunlight. Moreover, living organisms of various sizes thrive in soil. There are microorganisms and insects in soil that improve it, allowing plants to grow better. These tiny microorganisms, such as fungi and bacteria, decompose the soil and transform old, dead materials into raw materials that plants need for growth.
The quality of soil is important for the health of plants and the humans and animals that consume plants.