The soil physical properties of tied ridges were measured in a trial, established in 1983, comparing three treatments: handhoe cultivation and planting on the flat; planting directly without any cultivation on tied ridges constructed the previous year; and handhoe cultivation and remoulding of tied ridges constructed the previous year. Two maize varieties and two management levels were used. The soil properties monitored were particle size distribution, penetro-meter resistance in the surface 20 mm, bulk density, water infiltration, soil water retention and soil temperature.
Soil physical properties were affected mainly by the type of seedbed. Clay content in the surface 0.05 m was greater with tied ridging, with that in the furrows being higher than that in the ridge slopes. Daily maximum soil temperature was greatest in the flat planted plots and in the ridge slopes of the tied ridged plots. Penetrometer resistance at a soil water content of 0.05 kg kg−1 was greater in the tied ridged plots. Cumulative infiltration after 2 h was greatest with flat planting. The bulk density of ridge slopes in tied ridged plots was less than that in the furrows and in the flat planted plots. Soil water retention was greatest in the furrows of the tied ridged plots. Clay content was the major factor determining all the soil physical properties measured.