The Role of Soil

Recently, I had a chance to write a column for the Ecological Landscape Alliance on a few things, but primarily the role of soil.

I cannot stress it enough. Anything we do in our yards must begin with it. This is especially important right now, as we begin to see those standard commercials with chemical fertilizers and smiling homeowners and unnaturally green yards. Quick solutions make your yard green, but they also kill what is in your soil. It is not a sustainable solution nor is it right.

Land life began 400 million years ago, which means the host of characters in our soil began to build relationships and ways to communicate with each other long before humans ever got it in their head that they could “rule the world.” Soil life builds upon itself, creating more soil. It filters and cleans the water we drink. All of the water on this planet was here before the earth was even formed and half before the birth of the sun.

Applying Soil Principles

By watching and learning from nature, we can begin to restore the health of the soil as well as regain our own health and that of the planet. We can scale these processes from small containers of herbs in the kitchen window to lawns and vegetable gardens.

Instead of reductionist theories of feeding plants and killing bugs, we can replicate natural growing cycles. Soil life is made up of bacteria and fungi and the nematodes and protozoa that eat them. It includes mycorrhizal fungi, and myriads of other organisms that all rely on the exudates from plant roots and the natural replenishment of organic matter.

Unfortunately, humans have done a lot of damage to the soil over the years. Many of these soil organisms are currently missing, but it isn’t too late to reverse the damage we’ve done.

This is where places like Heidelberg Farms comes into play. By being mindful of the types of mulches, composts, amendments, and fertilizers we use, we can strengthen soil life and grow healthier plants. Of course, we also must eliminate pesticides.

I can help homeowners restore this balance. Call me at (603) 501-9919 or email me at mention this blog and I’ll take 10% off my From The Roots Up organic lawn care programs.

Let’s work together. Stay tuned for more blogs this early spring on watering tips, more on the importance of mycorrhizae fungi and more!

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