Soil characteristics are an important aspect of optimal matching of plants to specific locations. Important soil characteristics include depth, texture, drainage, water holding capacity, pH, alkalinity, salinity, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and fertility. Defining the range of quantitative values for each factor for each potentially useful crop is the challenge that this project is seeking to address. !

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Soil classification systems have been created in an attempt to simplify the complexity and continuum of world soils. These classifications are, however, artificial and have inherent limitations. Many systems now exist, including the USDA Soil Taxonomy, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) system, the Russian system, and the Chinese system.

Each of the many types of classification systems begins with a definition of soil itself. Agriculturists, engineers, geologists, and others each have different definitions based on the needs of their particular discipline or vocation.

Classification systems can be divided into two categories, vernacular and scientific. Vernacular (descriptive) systems have been used for millennia, while scientifically based systems are relatively recent developments.
(Adapted from:

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To match your soil conditions to the species best suited to grow well in these conditions, please select the description that most closely matches your soil in the area to be planted.