Forest Soil and Its Uses
Forest soils are the soils found in the Hilly and Mountain areas where sufficient rain forests are available. They are also called as “Mountain Soil.” They provide base for growth of forest vegetation.The soils vary in structure and texture depending upon the mountain environment where they are formed.
Characteristics of Forest Soil
1. The pH ranges from 6.5-7.5.
2. The color of the soil is often darkish brown.
3. Organic matter content is high i.e. more than 5%.
4. They are loamy and silty on valley sides.
5. They are coarse-grained in upper slopes.
6. In snow bound areas of Himalayas, they are acidic with low humus content.
Particle and nutrient content of Forest soil
K 280-500 ppm
B >5 ppm
Source: Digital soil map, NARC
Process of Using Forest Soil
Use of forest soil is one of the most practiced indigenous technique in our locality. People go to the forest, dig the soil with spade, put them in the sacs, bring them home and fill in plastic drums, boxes, buckets, sacs etc. and use for cultivation of vegetables, flowers etc.
Uses of forest soil
1. Used for kitchen garden.
2. Used for making bonsai.
3. Used for potting.
4. Used for making nursery media.
5. Used for casing in white button mushroom.
6. Used for composting and manuring.
Scientific Reasons for use of forest soil
1. It is highly fertile.
2. It is rich in nutrients.
3. Moisture content is high.
4. Microbial activity is more.
5. It has a significant ‘litter layers’ or O horizon.
6. It is unused and undisturbed soil.
7. It is high organic matter content.
8. It helps to increase carbon sequestration.
Hence, the use of forest soil is in practice for decades in Some locality and it is very helpful to promote organic agriculture and kitchen gardening.