The effect of soil texture and organic amendment on the hydrological behaviour of coarse-textured soils

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To gain more insight into the hydrological behaviour of coarse-textured soils, the physical properties of artificially created soil mixtures with different texture were determined. The mixtures were prepared according to the specifications of the United States Golf Association (USGA) for constructing putting greens. In addition, the effect of 10 vol.% organic matter addition was studied. The soil moisture retention and hydraulic conductivity relationships of the different mixtures were determined and their hydrological behaviour was studied using the numerical model SoWaM. Both texture and organic matter addition substantially affected the hydraulic properties. Hydraulic conductivity significantly increased with increasing coarseness while moisture retention decreased. On the other hand, organic matter addition reduced saturated hydraulic conductivity by a factor of 10 to 100 and distinctly increased moisture retention capacity. The amounts of total available water were increased by the addition of organic matter between 144% (slightly coarse texture) and 434% (very coarse texture). Results indicate that the mixtures can contain only 2–16% plant available water and therefore need frequent irrigation to maintain plant growth. Addition of organic matter seems a good solution to reduce the irrigation water requirements but it increases the risk of ponding or runoff because of large reductions in the saturated hydraulic conductivity sometimes to below the rate of 3.6 m/day recommended by the USGA
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-283
JournalSoil Use and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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