Desert soils can be amended by adding organic or syntheticfertilizers, organic material, compost, and topsoil to the mixture.Water-soluble fertilizers tend to pollute over time by adding unwantedsalts to the soil and through runoff. Slow release fertilizers or organicfertilizers are much less harmful to the soil and to the environment.
Fertile soil has the following properties:
It is rich in nutrients necessary for basic plant nutrition, includingnitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
It contains sufficient minerals (trace elements) for plantnutrition, including boron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, iron,manganese, magnesium, molybdenum, sulfur, and zinc.
It contains soil organic matter that improves soil structure andsoil moisture retention.
Soil pH is in the range 6.0 to 6.8.
ood soil structure, creating well drained soil.
A range of microorganisms that support plant growth.
It often contains large amounts of topsoil.
Nitrogen is the element in the soil that is most often lacking.Phosphorus and potassium are also needed in substantial amounts.For this reason these three elements are always included incommercial fertilizers and the content of each of these items isincluded on the bags of fertilizer. For example a 10-10-15 fertilizer has10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent (P2O5) available phosphorus and 15percent (K2O) water soluble potassium. Inorganic fertilizers are