Soil forms from rocks by a process called weathering. Soils are often arranged in distinctive layers, each of which has unique properties. There are three kinds of soil particles: sand, silt, and clay. Plants usually grow well in soils called loams that consist of nearly equal amounts of all three particles. Clay particles are the smallest of these particles and form soils that are often hard-packed, promoting erosion and inhibiting root growth. Humus is the decomposing organic matter in soil. Humus retains water and is a source of nutrients for plants. Composting is one way to produce fertilizers from lawn and garden plant wastes.
Garden supply stores sell bags of peat moss (Sphagnum). What might be the advantage of adding peat moss to clay soils before planting your garden, lawns, or shade trees?
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