Gley soils become organic soils when there is more than about 25% organic matter in at least the top 30 centimetres. In this profile, a layer of organic matter about 1 metre deep overlies inorganic material. These soils are wet throughout the year, which means that plant material at the surface decomposes slowly and therefore builds up. These are commonly called peat soils. To cultivate these soils and establish pasture, deep drains are first needed to lower the water table.
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Landcare Research – Manaaki Whenua
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