What is a good soil structure

Soil structure

The Soil structure or the Soil structure is the spatial arrangement of the solid soil components. Soil consists of mineral and organic components. There are individual cavities between these two factions that Pore ​​volume of a soil and are filled with air and water. The soil structure influences all soil properties that are important for plant growth, such as the water, air, nutrient and heat balance, the ability of the soil to root, its workability and its suitability as a habitat for soil organisms. A soil volume consisting of 50% solid matter, 30% water and 20% air is ideal for optimal plant growth. The cohesion of the soil particles determines the soil structure and thus the structure.

Structural shapes

The Single grain structure or elementary structure consists of solid soil particles that lie loosely next to each other and have no connection whatsoever. When dry, this type of soil would trickle through your fingers. Examples of this are pure sand and sandy soils with little humus.

The Crumb structure consists of loose clusters of mineral and organic soil particles. As a result, aggregates of different sizes and shapes form in the soil. The crumbs consist mainly of so-called Clay-humus complexesin which the two types of soil components (organic and mineral) are glued together. The fine pores in the crumbs are able to give the plants water as needed. The larger pores are primarily filled with air and are an air and heat balance determining criterion. In addition, there is a gas exchange between carbon dioxide and oxygen, which preserves the life of the soil. The live construction (stability of the crumbs) is caused by slimy metabolic products, fungal hyphae, bacterial colonies, humus substances and the fine root hairs of the plant. Biologically active soils can be determined from the crumb structure. The crumb structure is ideal for plant growth.


Holger Seipel (2007):Expertise for gardeners. Dr. Felix Büchner - Verlag Handwerk und Technik GmbH. Hamburg. ISBN 978-3-582-041555