A good soil structure is essential to achieve optimum grassland growth. Soil structure is determined by the way that particles of soil are bound together to form fragments. A good soil structure is friable and crumbly (picture 1) and allows the roots to pass easily through the soil profile. Excess rainwater can drain through cracks and pores within the soil, while some water can be retained in the finer pores for plant growth. A good soil structure has sufficient movement of air through the soil and has a healthy soil biology. A poor soil structure soil (picture 2) has the opposite characteristics, it is large and blocky in structure with little airspace and reduced biological activity. Plant root growth is restricted, crop growth is limited and therefore requires remedial action to alleviate the problem.
Sign up to the FAS newsletter
Receive updates on news, events and publications from Scotland’s Farm Advisory Service