Soil property, The soil properties can be classified into two i.e.
Water holding capacity
Soil consistency/ stability
Soil structure refers to the overall arrangement of soil particles. OR
The compactness or looseness of the soil particles.
The arrangement of soil particles results into the formation of different shapes of the soil.
The individual soil particles join together to form aggregates.
Classes of soil structure
Soil structure can be classified into three (3) major classes
- Structureless or single grained: these are single separate grains that do not stick together e.g. sand.
- Massive: This is found in very fine textured soil where soil particles unite with others. They are without pores almost and particles are more or less cemented.
- Aggregated: This is an ideal structure where particles stick together to form secondary and large particles. There are spaces between granules.
Types of soil structure
- Crumb: This is commonly found in top soil. It has a lot of organic matter that makes it good for growing crops especially vegetables. It is very porous and well drained.
- Granular structure: here the particles are in form of granules but grouped together. It is common in top soil and is porous.
- Blocky: These particles are arranged in form of cubes or blocks. They are hexagonal in appearance with sharp edges. Common in subsoil of some heavy clay soils (anthill).
- Columnar: The aggregates are arranged in form of column – like structures. They are pillar – like with round tops.
- Prismatic: the soil particles are arranged in form of prisms with leveled tops. It is found in sub soils of arid and semi arid regions.
- Platy like structure : These are arranged on top of each other to form thin horizontal plates. They are common at the soil surface or as surface crust. Water mostly moves laterally.