Dirt may not seem like a complicated entity, but it is actually more complex than you can probably imagine. While all of us are familiar with its many uses, there are a lot of things you may not know about dirt, what it’s made of, and what creates it in the first place.
Facts About Dirt
With that said, here are 10 quick facts about dirt to give you a little more insight into the importance of it, as well as a few amazing aspects you may not know.
1. It takes up to 500 years to produce one inch of topsoil.
Topsoil is the outermost layer of soil, and it contains a vast amount of nutrients, gases, and bacteria that make it ideal for supporting vegetation. This layer is created from the breakdown of dirt as a result of organic matter dying off and decomposing, combined with moisture and natural elements. This is obviously a very long process that does not just occur overnight.
2. 10% of the world’s carbon dioxide is stored in soil.
CO2 emissions are a growing threat to the world’s ecosystems and climates, and it is not just in the air. The ground ends up absorbing about 1/10th of this carbon dioxide, storing it in the top layers of soil. The soil then acts as a filter to the groundwater below.
3. Soil is technically the bottom of the food chain, while also being the foundation of earth.
Soil is the food source of microorganisms, which is the food source of worms, which become a food source to several other species, moving further and further up the food chain. The very ground you walk on every day is technically the most important part of the food chain.
4. There are more microorganisms in one handful of soil than there are people on this planet.
Microorganisms are what make topsoil what it is in the first place. It requires billions of microscopic organisms throughout soil to create the breakdown and decomposition needed. By holding a handful of dirt, you are holding billions and billions of organisms that far outweigh the amount of people on earth.
5. Soil is a living system unto itself.
The microorganisms in soil sometimes feed on one another, which then creates gasses and other nutrients. Earthworms move through and feed on the dirt and microorganisms, while releasing waste of their own. Sun and moisture penetrate the soil and add their own effects as well. It is one big ecosystem of its own, all contained within the soil. A world within a world.
6. Soil erosion is the second biggest environmental issue next to population growth.
The loss of soil from over farming and development as the more and more soil erodes away is creating a potentially devastating effect that could create major problems within the next century. Topsoil takes hundreds of years to be created, so the problem is out gaining the regeneration of topsoil.
7. Bacteria is what keeps soil healthy.
We often associate bacteria as being a bad thing, but it is actually a major requirement to turn ordinary dirt into healthy topsoil. Bacteria is one of the main components needed for soil breakdown and decomposition.
8. Soil and dirt are two different things.
While it is true that soil is technically made from dirt, it’s not inherently dirt. Dirt is what exists prior to breakdown. Fill dirt is found below topsoil which is why it is used for construction purposes. It has not broken down, so it is more stable. Soil is the byproduct of chemical and structural changes in dirt.
9. 1.4 million earthworms can be found in one acre of cropland.
Earthworms play a major role in the creation of usable soil, so it is no wonder they are so prevalent where crops are grown. Earthworms multiply rapidly, helping to keep the soil healthy and suitable for farming and vegetation growth. Healthy farmland has millions and millions of earthworms.
10. 15 tons of dry soil per acre passes through one earthworm in a year.
Earthworms stay plenty busy when they are in the earth’s surface. They are basically always feeding on soil as they move their way through. This non-stop work ethic pays off, resulting in a whopping 15 tons of soil passing through the worm and becoming healthier soil in the process.
Reliable Dirt Delivery for Any Project
Fill dirt is a crucial part of any construction project on your property, large or small. If you need reliable, free dirt delivery, professional residential dirt grading assistance, and site work, get in contact with us at Dirt Connections today! We have the knowledge and experience to provide your property with what it needs for any task.