Objectives and Learning Outcomes

The objective of this course is to study the chemical properties of soil in relation to environment and plant growth. The knowledge attained by the students will help to tackle the soil problems. Moreover, students will learn about soil pollutants and their impact on human life. At the completion of this course, students will be able to understand; 1. Soil chemical properties and factors affecting it 2. Importance of soil organic matter 3. Essential nutrients and their available forms 4. Manufacturing of chemical fertilizers 5. Soil problems, causes and control 6. Impact of fertilizer on soil and environment.

Course Contents


1. Soil colloids and clays: description and environmental significance

2. Sources of charges on soil colloids

3. Cation and anion exchange properties of soil and their significance; basic cation saturation percentage

4. Soil pH and its importance

5. Buffering of soil

6. Soil organic matter: sources, composition and significance

7. Elements essential for plant growth: macro and micro nutrients, organic and inorganic fertilizers

8. Salt-affected and waterlogged soils: types, reclamation and management

9. Soil erosion: causes and remedies: soil and water conservation

10. Environmental impact of agricultural and industrial wastes


1. Fertilizers: Identification, composition and calculation of nutrient percentage

2. Fertilizer analysis for N, P and K

3. Soil analysis for EC and pH

4. Determination of soil organic matter

Recommended Books

1. Bashir, E. and R. Bantel. 2001. Soil Science. National Book Foundation, Islamabad.

2. Brady, N.C. and R.R. Weil. 2007. The Nature and Properties of Soils. 14th Ed. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA.

3. Brady, N.C. and R.R. Weil. 2009. Elements of the Nature and Properties of Soils. 3rd Ed. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA.

4. Hillel, D. 2008. Soil in the Environment: Crucible of Terrestrial Life. Elsevier Inc., Burlington, MA, USA.

5. Singer, M.J. and D.N. Munns. 2002. Soils- An Introduction. 5th ed. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ, USA.

Assessment Criteria

Sessional: 08 (project, presentation, participation)

Project: 04

Presentation: 02

Participation: 02

Mid exam: 12

Final exam: 20

Practical exam: 20

Course Material