Water and soils

Soil constantly wets and dries in response to numerous factors, such as rainfall, evaporation and plant transpiration. It’s crucial to understand how water affects soil and crops.

Soil water balance

The main soil water flows and stores

Soil pore network and infiltration

The soil pore network is important to maintain good soil structure, to allow for water infiltration and drainage. 

Find out how water moves through soil and what affects drainage rates

Soil texture and water status

Soil is rarely at the same moisture state across all its layers. Water moves relatively slowly through clay soils, clay layers and compacted layers.

Find out how moisture state is influenced by soil texture

Soil health and crop water supply

Improving soil health, in particular organic matter content, can maximise the benefit from the supply of water from irrigation and rainfall by increasing infiltration rates and water-holding capacity. 

Find out how to manage soil to increase plant available water

Useful links

Read about the importance of assessing soil moisture status before cultivations to avoid structural damage

Read the Principles of soil management guide

If you would like to order a hard copy of Principles of soil management, please contact publications@ahdb.org.uk or call 0247 799 0069

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Amanda Bennett

Senior Environment Manager (Soil Health & RB209)

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