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Why Might Soils Rich in Organic Matter Not Be Fertile? (4 Reasons)

Organic matters present in the soil are a big boon for humans. So, you might be thinking that organic matters are essential for the soil. Well, you are right, but not totally.

Do you have good organic soil in your farmland but doesn’t look too fertile for the plants? Are you bothered with why might soils rich in organic matter not be fertile?

It is imperative to know what it means when discussing organic matter present in the soil. It is more about the dead plants and cells that tend to be deposited into the plating area.

This does help the soil quality to improve, but all in all, it doesn’t necessarily make the soil fertile. Other ways can be used to make the soil fertile.

Benefits of Organic Matter Present in the Soil

1)    Acts as a Reservoir

If you are also one of those people who think organic matter solely helps in higher soil fertility, well, you are wrong. But organic matter indeed acts as the storage and supply of the plants’ nutrients. When the nutrients are stored through the organic matter, it benefits the plant.

In summer, the stored nutrients are released into the soil. Therefore, if you observe correctly, you can see that the crops growing in summer look more delightful than those produced in winter.

2)    Helps in Water Retention

The growth and development of the soil quality are also dependent on the moisture present. When we look into organic matters, they act as the water retainer. They are more like water containers that hold 20 times more water than their weight.

If you are confused, when does the water get out? Well, when the plants require water, the organic matter releases it through the medium of the soil. This helps in the proper growth of the plant.

3)    Helps in Erosion Prevention

There are a lot of other components that need to come through to make the soil fertile, along with the organic matters. But the organic matter does help in keeping the nutrients intact to prevent soil erosion.

The topsoil always contains nutrients in itself. If you add one per cent of organic matter to your soil, it will protect the erosion by almost twenty per cent, which is quite a fair number.

Even though organic matter might not make the soil totally fertile, it surely will help it to behold the nutrients in itself.

4)    Does Soil Aggregation

There are a lot of materials that make up the soil. From clay, pebbles to rocks and many more, the soil has a lot of components. Organic matter, in this case, helps all particles to remain close. Organic matter helps in the clumping of the soil, which works wonders.

When proper soil aggregation takes place, it will keep the top crust of the soil in the right place. Similarly, organic matter works well in the binding of the soil, which retains the overall life of the soil. It also keeps the soil in good condition for a very long time.

Reasons for Why Might Soils Rich in Organic Matter Not Be Fertile

It might be jaw-dropping for many of you to know that plant fertility is not entirely related to organic matter only. Yes, you heard it right. Whenever the fertility and great quality of the soil are talked about, other factors play a more critical role.

Despite all the above benefits of organic matter in the soil, it alone cannot make the soil entirely fertile. The reasons that answers the query of why might soils rich in organic matter not be fertile is an essential topic to discuss when we talk about the soil’s organic matter.

If the soil present in your plantation area doesn’t have the best fertility, there are some valiant reasons. Sit tight to know what other factors besides organic matter are essential to keep the soil fertile.

1)    pH Value

If you are looking for fertile soil, try checking the pH value of the soil too. The perfect balance of the pH value will boost nutrients and fertility. Lower or higher pH values might not necessarily be best for the soil.

2)    Moisture Content

Similarly, moisture presence is also a key factor. If moisture is higher in the soil, it easily has a more fertile nature. With the presence of moisture, the nutrients tend to flourish.

3)    Soil Texture and Component

In like manner, the soil texture and component are also important. The soil with higher clay content is more fertile because magnesium storage and calcium in such soil are higher. Furthermore, tightened soil induces more fertility in it for plants to grow well.

4)    Contaminants in the Soil

It would help if you were careful regarding the contaminants present in the soil. For example, salt and metal mixed in the soil affect its fertility and plant growth.


There is a considerable misunderstanding when we talk about soil in common. Many of you might have wanted to know why might soils rich in organic matter not be fertile.

Well, there are a plethora of good reasons for that. You might be thinking, why use the organic matter if it doesn’t keep the soil fertile.

The organic matter might not keep the soil entirely fertile, but it focuses highly on maintaining the nutrients and moisture intact. All of that directly works on keeping the soil fertile.

Besides this, you can work well to keep the soil fertile in other ways. You can focus on growing the legumes or grasses, which restores the nitrogen content in the soil. A large amount of grass covering can also help the moisture to keep intact.

Along with that, you can use the liming process to maintain the pH level. When the pH value of the soil gets better with the use of lime, it will immediately work well for the fertility of the soil.

So instead of getting baffled as to why might soils rich in organic matter not be fertile, you need to use other ways which will work well to increase the fertility of the soil.