Here at Sunday, we’ll help you care for your whole yard ecosystem, not just above ground but below it too! And that starts with soil. Healthy soil helps cultivate healthy plants. While our soil test can tell you about the nutrients your soil holds, it doesn’t tell you about your soil’s physical properties such as color, texture, and structure. Maintaining the structure of your soil goes hand in hand with caring for your yard’s health.
Soil is made up of particles that were originally different mineral rocks that have been weathered over time into small pieces. These particles vary in size, shape, and chemical composition. There are 3 categories of soil particles:
The combination of these particles forms your soil’s texture. Having a pretty good mix is important for drainage and aeration, and allows nutrients and organic matter to move freely and evenly through the soil. More nutrient absorption = more plant growth!
Soil structure refers to how these differently textured particles group and bind together, along with organic matter and plant roots, to form aggregates and peds.
Like humans, plant roots need water and oxygen to survive. If your soil is too compacted or too loose, it’s harder for roots to get what they need—but that just-right soil structure allows for more water intake (and retention) and oxygen flow.
Good soil structure makes it easier for plant roots to grow by helping:
While it’s important to understand what builds your soil structure, it is equally important to know what destroys it. Compaction forces aggregates together, removing pore space, while high sodium levels, excessive handling, and overtilling impair soil structure by breaking up aggregates.
How to preserve your soil structure: