Physical Problems of Fine-Textured Soils
Certain soil physical problems are common on fine-textured soils. Identification of the primary problem is not always easy. What the grower often sees is symptoms or secondary problems such as: poor rooting, low soil aeration, black layer, low infiltration/percolation, waterlogged condition, on hard soils. A primary problem on fine-textured soil is simply excess quantities of silt or clay. High silt/clay content results in a soil with too little macro (large) pore space, essential for water infiltration/percolation, root channels, and gas exchange (aeration). Improper contouring on many fine-textured soils contributes to soil physical problems. Fine-textured soils often have low infiltration and percolation rates. Subsurface and surface drainage techniques are very useful in eliminating many of the excess water problems on fine-textured soils. Once the primary problems are identified, the basic management tools to alleviate the problems are numerous cultivation procedures, a diversity of soil modification approaches, and many surface/subsurface drainage techniques.