Looking at Aggregates

Knowing what good soil structure looks like can often help when trying to identify if you have soil structure problems.

Dig up a spadeful of soil from under a nearby fenceline which hasn't been disturbed for years as this will often be in good condition.

Photograph of soil with lots of porous clods.
Porous clod faces with lots of holes and
channels for better aeration and root

Photograph of soil with large hard clods.
Smooth clod faces with no pores for drainage.

Photograph of soil with a variety of aggregate sizes - no large clods.
A good range of aggregate sizes provides
good water storage for plants.

Photograph of soil with even sized soil particles.
One particular size of aggregates gives poor seed/soil contact for germination.

Photograph of powdery soil - looks like sand.
A fine powdery seedbed is highly erodible

Photograph of soil with large thin plate-like surface.
Plate-like structure with thin compact layers running parallel to the surface, results in low infiltration and bent plant roots.

Photograph of soil with a hard base below a thin layer of topsoil.
A shiny hard pan at the base of any cultivation layer restricts plant rooting depth.


Land Management Enquiries
171 Westbury Road
Phone: 03 6777 2227
Fax: 03 6336 5111
Email: LandManagement.Enquiries@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

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