How Does Soil Structure Effect Plant Growth? (3 Part Series… Part #1)

How Does Soil Structure Effect Plant Growth? (3 Part Series… Part #1)

Posted by Jonathan Manning, CLT - B.S. Horticulture, Colorado State University in Uncategorized

How Does Soil Structure Effect Plant Growth? (3 Part Series… Part #1)

By:Jonathan Manning, CLT
A Better Garden Maintenance, LLC
Denver, CO

Water Capacity

As long as water can infiltrate the soil, we find that there is an optimal range (between field capacity and permanent wilting point) for specific plants to grow. Field capacity (-33 kPa) is where there is a 50/50 distribution of air and water in the pore space. Permanent Wilting Point (-1500 kPa) is where there is no available water to plants (Barbarick 77). It is important to understand this range because without this knowledge people would not be able to keep plants at peak performance. Soil Organic Matter is by far the most important water holding media. It can hold up to 90% of its weight, most of which is available for plant uptake. On the other end of the spectrum, clay has a high water capacity but most of this water is unavailable to plants (Funderburg).

Works Cited

Barbarick, K.A.. Lecture Notes for Introductory Soil Science. Boston: Pearson, 2000.

Funderburg, Eddie. What Does Organic Matter Do In Soil? Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation 12 Nov. 2002. http://www.noble.org/ag/soils/OrganicMatter/Index.htm

Part #2 will be on Soil Compaction.

03 Feb 2009 no comments

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