Using soil tension to measure key states of soil moisture

Often, in science, when things aren’t fully understood, rules are chosen without real evidence.  They are created to help give a benchmark to make research possible.  These would best be described as “let’s assume” rules.  Research only occurs when variables are controlled, but sometimes variables can’t be controlled or even measured with accuracy.  In these […]

Soil tension’s relationship to soil type & salts

What is soil tension and how is it measured? Soil tension is the amount of force necessary to remove a water molecule from a soil particle to allow for uptake by a plant’s root system. This force is often measured in kilopascals (kpa) or centibars (cbar). For reference, 1 kilopascal = 1 centibar = 0.01 […]

Rehydrating soils after a loss in deep moisture

It is that time of year where the heat turns up and crops begin pumping water out at an ever-increasing rate. Some, too many, decide that watering unto 12-18 inches will suffice for keeping the plant healthy and delivering enough water for maximum plant growth. Others are so possessive of their deep moisture that they […]

Cracking Soils Indicate Localized Drought Stress

Why are your soils cracking? Commonly heavy clay soils develop cracks in the dry season as the soil profile dries out. The cracking is simply a matter of expansion and contraction. The clay portions of soils are made up of very fine particles of silicate minerals. These silicate minerals are in the form of thin […]