Definition - What does Permeability mean?

In agriculture, permeability refers to the rate at which water flows through the crop soil. Crucial to proper plant growth and development, the permeability of the soil helps the crop absorb minerals and sugars. Without proper permeability, the plants can starve, dehydrate, suffocate or even drown. Poor soil permeability also results in mud or standing water.

MaximumYield explains Permeability

To enhance soil permeability, gardeners should avoid overwatering, especially in humid, tropical climates. It is also important to properly aerate compacted soil through regular rakings or by using a wheel hoe. In some cases, compost and mulch can help improve the permeability of the soil. Walking on the growing soil when it’s wet is not recommended if you want to maintain proper soil permeability.

Visible signs of permeability issues include stagnant water, mud clusters or hydrophobic soil. Depending on the type of plant, chlorosis can also indicate issues with soil permeability. Gardeners can conduct a percolation test beforehand to determine permeability.

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