Why Is Soil Porosity Important?

Soil structure is one of the most important parts of growing a healthy garden. Many gardeners have been working for decades to create abundant garden land containing mineral and organic compounds. To achieve good porosity, the structure of the soil must be taken into account. By examining some basic types, will help you understand the importance of porosity.

What is the Porosity of the Soil?

The pore area of the soil, also called soil porosity, describes the negative gap between soil particles. Pores form when the roots, insects, and earthworms of a plant move on the soil. It also creates pore space when underground liquids emit gases and when fertilized materials enter the soil. This article discusses the importance of soil porosity, factors affecting porosity, and the methods that farmers can use to increase the pore area.

Why Do Plants Need Pore Space?

Why Is Soil Porosity Important?

The main reason why plants need pore space is the accumulation of oxygen in the pores. Too dense compaction does not provide enough oxygen to reach the root system.

There are usually three types of soil: clay, sand, and loam. The significance of the aeration and the pore space depends on the actual soil. Clay particles are particularly small, so the soil becomes dense when mixed with water. Silt particles are slightly larger, but when you add water to them, the particles are trapped in a way that does not support plant growth. The sand contains the largest particles in the soil and can see with the naked eye. There are three different soil types.

The porosity of Different Types of Soils

Clay and Silt

Clay and silk are mixed to keep water and air away from the soil. They have poor erosion and do not allow water to flow, poor aeration, and most plants die from poor drainage and porosity.


Although the distance between the particles is small the sandy soil is well-drained and has good porosity. Large sand soils do not hold soil moisture and will degrade roots quickly during a drought.


Garden soil is a mixture of clay, silt, and sand, and organic matter. Loam contains water and nutrients, removes it from plant roots, and removes excess water. Its porous structure reduces the entrance of rainwater, nutrients, and depleted minerals.

Factors Affecting Porosity of Soil

Why Is Soil Porosity Important?

Significant differences were observed in the total pores of different soils according to the following factors:

Soil Structure

Soil with a granular and brittle structure contains more pores than prismatic and smooth soil structures. Such a well-combined soil structure has more pores compared to a smaller or single structure.

Soil Texture

In sand, the foundation space of the cavity is small, but in the fine texture of clay and loam soil, the whole cavity is large and the possibility of greater granulation in the clay soil.

Soil Particle Arrangement

When spherical particles are placed in a cluster shape (i.e., one after the other on the surface and form a column-like shape), this provides the most open packaging system that results in a very small amount of pores. When such particles are put in a pyramidal shape, it creates an immediate packaging system that causes large amounts of pores.

Organic Matter

Soils that contain a lot of organic matter have high porosity because of good formation.


Macro-organisms such as insects, earthworms, and rodents, etc. increase the soil porosity.

Depth of Soil

As the depth increases, the soil porosity decreases due to the consistency of the soil.


Intensive cultivation tends to reduce soil porosity relative to loamy soils. Reduced porosity may be due to a decrease in organic matter.


Due to the puddle under sufficient soil moisture, the surface layer of the soil becomes compacted and dense. Finally, the porosity of the soil surface is reduced by the infiltration of turbid surface material.

What Makes Soil Porous?

Why Is Soil Porosity Important?

Although the pores of the clay can hold water and nutrients more than the sand, the pores are often too small for the roots to properly recover. Oxygen, another important element in pores in the soil for proper plant growth, may also have impermeable clay. Also, compacted soil reduces pores to maintain the amount of water, oxygen, and essential nutrients that plants create.

Therefore, it is important how you can get loose soil in the garden if you want the tree to grow healthier. So how can we create healthy, porous soils if we feel like clay or dense soil? This is usually done by mixing organic materials like garden gypsum or peat moss in the garden to increase soil porosity.

For example, when mixed in clay, garden gypsum or other dissolved organic matter can open pores between soil particles, open water, and nutrients that are trapped in small particles and allow oxygen to pass away in the soil.


Organic matter increases drainage and soil porosity. Clay and silt benefit from adding sand to increase drainage. Sand benefits from the small amount of clay or mud that is added to improve the maintenance of water and nutrients. Sandy beaches have larger pores than pure sand.