Composition and climate both effect soil temperature, but why is soil temperature important? Why do plants stop growing in the fall, and start growing again in the spring? Answer: soil temperature.
Air temperature has an adverse effect to the soil surface temperature. Warm air creates a warm soil surface, and the soil temperature will be cooler the deeper into the soil profile.
As soil temperatures cool in the fall, decomposition of organic matter slows, and water conductivity and availability to roots decreases. As water and mineral uptake is reduced, photosynthesis is reduced, and plants enter a “dormant” phase until spring.
As soil temperatures increase in spring, the opposite takes place, and metabolic root activity increases, which energizes the plant with necessary water and nutrients.
So, enjoy the spring and watch as this process in nature is unveiled before your very eyes!