For different climatic conditions and regional locations, certain types of soil are characteristic. Due to the unique composition of the soil, plants typical for the region grow in one locality or another. The layer that forms between the chernozem steppes and podzolic soils is called gray forest land. As in location, in terms of properties and nutrients, the soil takes the middle place. At the moment, geographers cannot agree on the origin of gray forest soils.
General characteristics and location of soils
In most cases, gray forest soils form in a dry, temperate continental climate. The processes of soil podzolization are very slow, since in these regions there is a small amount of precipitation, and sunny days prevail. At the same time, gray forest lands help accelerate and strengthen the process of sod formation.
Soils spread in deciduous-forest zones. They have an acidic and slightly acidic reaction at the upper levels and neutral, or slightly alkaline at the lower. The composition of the soil is an important element of humus, its content reaches 3-8%.
Morphological profile of the soil
Gray forest soils have a peculiar structure consisting of five layers:
- A0 - is a forest litter formed from brown forest litter; layer thickness varies from 2 to 5 cm;
- A1 - humus-accumulative horizon, extending from 10 to 55 cm; the layer may have a gray, dark gray, brownish-dark gray hue, a lumpy-powdery structure with living plant roots;
- A1A2 is the humus-eluvial horizon of a grayish-whitish or grayish-brownish hue; the thickness is not more than 15 cm, the structure is lumpy-tiled, can be layered;
- A2B is a transition layer, which may have a brown, dark brown, brown shade with whitish spots, dusting powder, tongues; the structure is walnut, lumpy-nutty, acute-angle, finely rumped;
- In - horizon illuvial dark brown or dark brown; the structure is dense;
- BC is a transition layer of a light shade, which often contains carbonate precipitates.
So that the soil is pleased with fertility, they must be used correctly. You also need to choose one of the subtypes of soil for growing crops. Despite the fact that the varieties of soil are similar in composition and properties, they have striking differences and opportunities.
Types of Gray Soils
The subtype of gray soils is directly affected by the podzolization process. Depending on its course, the following types of forest lands are distinguished:
- light gray - in this subgroup of soils, the processes of podzolization are highest. Light gray lands contain a small amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, they should be additionally fed and eliminate high acidity. Humus is 2.5-7% of the total mass;
- gray - have a minimal podzolic layer and a slightly acid reaction. The humus content in gray lands reaches 4-9%. The soil is saturated with bases at 90-95% at the lower levels and at 70-80% at the upper;
- dark gray - this type is characterized by a high content of humus - up to 12% (even in deep horizons). A large amount of humus is formed as a result of decomposition of herbaceous plants and leaf litter. The earth is saturated with humic acids and calcium. The percentage of bases reaches 95-99.
Gray soils are fertile, but it is recommended to feed them with organic and mineral fertilizers, as well as liming and deepening the arable layer. On such lands, crops such as corn, beets, and potatoes can be grown.