Lessons on Soil
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Lessons on Soil
By Sir Edward J. (Edward John) Russell
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Table of Contents
  • LESSONS ON SOIL
  • BY
  • E. J. RUSSELL, D.Sc. (Lond.)
    • GOLDSMITH COMPANY'S SOIL CHEMIST, ROTHAMSTED EXPERIMENTAL STATION
    • Cambridge: at the University Press 1911
    • PREFACE
    • CONTENTS
    • LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    • INTRODUCTION
    • CHAPTER I
    • WHAT IS THE SOIL MADE OF?
    • Fig. 1. Soil and subsoil in St George's school garden
    • Fig. 2. Columns showing what 100 parts of soil and subsoil were made of
    • Fig. 3. Columns showing what 100 parts of dried soil and subsoil were made of
    • CHAPTER II
    • MORE ABOUT THE CLAY
    • Fig. 4. Clay was plastered over a square piece of board and completely covered it. After drying for a week the clay had shrunk and cracked
    • Fig. 5. Clay swelling up when placed in water and overflowing from the egg-cup into which it was put
    • Fig. 6. Landslip in the Isle of Wight
    • Fig. 7. A thin layer of clay a entirely prevents the water running through
    • Fig. 8. Sand allows air to pass through it, and so water runs out of the bottle. Clay does not let air pass, and the water is therefore kept in, even though the tube is open.
    • Fig. 9. A brick standing in water. The air in the brick is driven inwards by the water and forces the liquid up the tube in order to escape
    • CHAPTER III
    • WHAT LIME DOES TO CLAY
    • Fig. 10. Addition of lime to turbid clay water now makes the clay settle and leaves the water quite clear
    • CHAPTER IV
    • SOME EXPERIMENTS WITH THE SAND
    • Fig. 11. Sand dunes, Penhale sands, Cornwall
    • Fig. 12. Sand from Penhale sand dunes blowing on to and covering up meadows
    • Fig. 13. Model spring. A box with glass front contains a layer of clay and one of sand. Water that falls on the sand runs right down to the clay but can get no further, and therefore flows out through the tube c at the junction of the clay and the sand. The same result is obtained when chalk takes the place of sand
    • Fig. 14. Foot of a chalk hill at Harpenden where a spring breaks out just under the bush at the right-hand side of the gate
    • Fig. 15. "The little pool below the tree"
    • Fig. 16. Water bursting out from an underground spring, Old Cateriag Quarry, Dunbar
    • Fig. 17. Two positions of sand. A is dry because the water can drain away and break out as a spring at c. B is wet because the water cannot drain away
    • Fig. 18. The roads round Wye. As far as possible they keep off the clay (the plain part of the map) and keep on the chalk or the sand (the dotted part of the map)
    • CHAPTER V
    • THE PART THAT BURNS AWAY
    • Fig. 19. Cutting and carrying peat for fuel, Hoy, Orkney
    • CHAPTER VI
    • THE PLANT FOOD IN THE SOIL
    • Fig. 20. Rye growing in surface soil (Pot 3), subsoil (Pot 4), and sand (Pot 5)
    • Fig. 21. Mustard growing in surface soil (Pot 3), subsoil (Pot 4), sand (Pot 5)
    • Fig. 22. Mustard growing in surface soil previously cropped with rye (Pot 1) and in surface soil previously uncropped (Pot 2)
    • Fig. 23. Pieces of grass, leaves, etc. change into plant food in the surface but not to any great extent in the subsoil. Mustard is growing in surface soil (Pot 3), in surface soil and pieces of grass (Pot 6), in subsoil (Pot 4), and in subsoil and grass (Pot 7)
    • CHAPTER VII
    • THE DWELLERS IN THE SOIL
    • Fig. 24. Soil in which earthworms have been living and making burrows
    • Fig. 25. Fresh soil turns milk bad, but baked soil does not
    • Fig. 26. Soils contain tiny things that grow on gelatine
    • Fig. 27. Bottle containing lime water, used to show that breath makes lime water milky
    • Fig. 28. A bag of soil is fixed into a flask containing lime water. In a few days some of the air has been used up, and the lime water has turned milky
    • CHAPTER VIII
    • THE SOIL AND THE PLANT
    • Fig. 29. Loam and sand both retain water, but loam better than sand
    • Fig. 30. Water can rise upwards in soil. It can, in fact, travel in any direction, from wet to dry places
    • Fig. 31. Wheat growing in soils supplied from below with water. All the water the plant gets has to travel upwards
    • Fig. 32. Mustard growing in soils supplied with varying quantities of water. 16 very little water, 3 a nice amount of water, 15 too much water
    • Fig. 33. This wheat growing on very moist soil was still green and growing vigorously, whilst this wheat growing on rather dry soil was yellow and ripe
    • Fig. 34 a. Plants collected on dry sandy soil. Broom, sheep's fescue, crested dogstail and gorse, all with narrow leaves
    • Fig. 34 b. Plants collected on moist loam. All have wide leaves
    • Fig. 35. Plants give out water through their leaves
    • Fig. 36. Stephen Hales's Experiment (from Vegetable Staticks, Vol. I. 1727)
    • Fig. 37. Hill slope near Harpenden. Woodland at the top, arable land lower down. In the valley there is grass land but this is hidden by the cottages
    • Fig. 38. View further along the valley, woodland and arable above rough grass land near the river
    • Fig. 39. Rough grass pasture near the river, above that is arable land and still higher is woodland
    • CHAPTER IX
    • CULTIVATION AND TILLAGE
    • Fig. 40. After harvest the farmer breaks up his land with a plough and then leaves it alone until seed time
    • Fig. 41. Rolling in mangold seeds on the farm
    • Fig. 42. Soil sampler. (See p. 82 for description)
    • Fig. 43. Cultivation and mulching reduce the loss of water from soils
    • Fig. 44 a. The hoed plot, no weeds. Maize cannot compete successfully against weeds
    • Fig. 44 b. Untouched plot, many weeds
    • Fig. 45. A plot of wheat left untouched since 1882 at Rothamsted has now become a dense thicket
    • Fig. 46. A wheat field in May. The large patch in the centre where the crop is doing badly lay under water for much of the winter because of the bad drainage
    • CHAPTER X
    • THE SOIL AND THE COUNTRYSIDE
    • Fig. 47. Highly cultivated sand in Kent. Gooseberries are growing in the foreground, vegetables behind, and hops in background
    • Fig. 48. A Surrey heath
    • Fig. 49. Woodland and heather on light sandy soil, Wimbledon Common
    • Fig. 50. Poor sandy soil in Surrey, partly cultivated but mainly wood and waste
    • Fig. 51. Open chalk cultivated country, Isle of Thanet
    • CHAPTER XI
    • HOW SOIL HAS BEEN MADE
    • Fig. 52. Cliffs at the seaside, Manorbier, Pembrokeshire
    • Fig. 53. Inland cliff. Salisbury Crags, Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh
    • Fig. 54. Model of a stream. In A, where the stream flows quickly, the water is clear and the sediment free from mud. In B, where it flows slowly, the water is turbid and the sediment muddy
    • Fig. 56. The two sides of the river at the bend
    • Fig. 56. The winding river Stour. The river winds from the right to the left of the picture, then back again, and then once more to the left, passing under the white bridge and in front of the barn.
    • Fig 57. Sketch map showing why Godmersham and Wye arose where they did on the Stour. At A, the gravel patch, the river has a hard bed and can be forded. A village therefore grew up here. At B, the clay part, the river has a soft bed and cannot be forded. The land is wet in winter, and the banks of the stream may be washed away. It is therefore not a good site for a village
    • Fig. 58. Ford and Coldharbour, near Harpenden
    • APPENDIX
    • INDEX
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