THE IMPORTANCE OF HEALTHY SOIL
Most of us take for granted the soil beneath our feet, we forget how truly miraculous it is. We can often be oblivious to the fascinating biological properties of healthy soil and not appreciate what these properties do for our gardens and landscaping schemes.
It’s often said that organic material in soil consists of “the living, the recently dead, and the very dead.” This is a helpful way to understand the processes that shape soil and make it fertile.
The living portion of soil is made up of plant roots, and of the numerous microbes and other living organisms that improve soil structure by breaking down organic material.
The recently dead components include deceased soil organisms, green plant material and fresh manures. They decompose readily, and release nutrients quickly.
The very dead portion is humus, the final residue of organic matter breakdown that’s important for soil structure and disease suppression.
For fertile healthy soil, all three forms of organic matter should be present at all times.