Sandy soil is composed of large irregular particles that permit water to enter between them and pass through so quickly that it dries out rapidly. Sandy soils are also quite susceptible to leaching. The addition of large amounts of organic matter is especially important in improving the structure of sandy soils.
Clay soil contains about 40 percent or more clay, less than 45 percent sand and less than 40 percent silt. A typical clay soil may be composed of approximately 60 percent actual clay, 20 percent sand and 20 percent silt. Such a soil tends to compact, which makes cultivation difficult and interferes with the oxygen supply for plant roots. It is difficult for water to enter the impervious clay soil and runoff is very common during rainfalls.
Organic matter added to clay soil will make the soil more friable and easier to work. It will promote a crumbly structure and stabilise soil crumbs so that they are held together under the slaking action of water. As a result, the soil can absorb water more rapidly. Runoff and erosion decline.
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