Definition - What does Soil Structure mean?
Soil structure is a term used to describe the solid parts of soil and the small spaces, or pores, between the individual parts.
Soil structure is determined by how different parts of the soil bind and clump together. The structure of the soil is important as it influences factors such as air and water movement, root growth, and the propagation of seeds.
MaximumYield explains Soil Structure
Soil structure is largely dependent on the contents of the soil. These contents are further classified by shape, size, and the strength of their bond to each other. For example, granular soil, the most common in surface layers, offers the most “pore space” of any type of soil.
Plants grown in this soil greatly benefit as it offers them access to air, water, and important nutrients. However, some soils have no definitive structure. These soils, like sand and hard clays, are not conducive to plant growth as they restrict air and water access.
Familiarity with soil structure is particularly important in agricultural farming. For example, if the structure of the soil is too compact, root growth, water access, and seed development can be hindered.
Soil structure can also be affected by several different factions that can contribute to its deterioration. These factors include excessive sodium, excessive moving of the soil, and compaction. Minimizing handling, avoiding the use of sodium, and providing soil cover can help preserve soil that has a desirable structure.