Soil particles vary greatly in size, and soil scientists classify soil particles into sand, silt, and clay.
What Are the 3 Soil Particle Sizes?
There are three main soil particle sizes: sand, silt, and clay. Soil is made up of these particles, which vary in size and shape. The size of the particles affects the way the soil behaves.
Sand is the largest soil particle. It is 2.0–0.05 mm in diameter. Sand particles are rough and irregular in shape. They do not stick together well and do not hold water or nutrients well.
Silt is the second largest soil particle. It is 0.05–0.002 mm in diameter. Silt particles are smooth and have a rectangular shape.
They stick together better than sand, but still do not hold water or nutrients well. Clay is the smallest soil particle. It is less than 0.002 mm in diameter.
Clay particles are very small and have a round shape. They stick together very well and can hold water and nutrients. The size of the soil particles affects how well the soil drains.
Sand drains the best because the particles are large and do not stick together. Silt drains better than clay because the particles are larger and have a rectangular shape.
Clay drains the worst because the particles are very small and stick together. The size of the soil