Texture refers to the size of the particles
that make up the soil.
The terms sand, silt, and clay refer to
relative sizes of the soil particles and are
what make up soil.
Pick up a pinch of soil between your
fingers, and rub it back and forth. You will
quickly notice that the soil is made up of a
many different sized particles. These
particles give the soil its texture.
The color of soil can tell us a lot about it. Most of
these are shades of black, brown, red, gray, and
The darker a soil is, the more nutrient rich it is. The
darker color often indicates an increase in
decomposed organic matter known as humus.
Soil structure is the arrangement of soil particles
into small clumps, called peds or aggregates.
Soil particles (sand, silt, clay) bind together to
Structure correlates to the pore space in the soil
which influences root growth and air and water
• Texture: Clay, being the smaller size of particles,
• Color: Depends on the chemical composition of the
clay. Clay soils can be any shade of yellow to brown to
red depending on the dominant minerals.
• Structure: Clay is formed by small particles. It has
flat flakes that fit snugly together, creating a dense
mass, some considered to be "sticky“ as it is tightly
• Texture: Sand, being the larger size of particles,
feels gritty or grainy.
• Color: Sandy soil is lighter in color than other
soil. It can looked like light brown, white, or
light gray and some other colors in it like red ...if
it has oxidized iron in it.
• Structure: No structure because it is loosely
packed and lacks the ability to stick together.
• Texture: Silt soil is finer than sand, and feels
smooth and silky
• Color: Usually a brown to black in color.
• Structure: Silt soil is similar to loam soil but
contains smaller ratios of both sand and clay
*Silt soil retains water well and provide the proper
growth medium for most plants.
• Texture: Loams are gritty, moist, and retain water
• Color: Loam soil has the color of black or dark brown.
• Structure: Loam is soil composed of sand, silt, and clay
in relatively even concentration (about 40-40-20%
*Loam soils generally contain more nutrients and humus
than sandy soils, and is considered to be the most
desirable medium for growing crops and many types of