How-To

The Basics of Soil Biology

Script by Christine Alexander. Produced and edited by Kara Demos.

Have you ever wondered how to create healthy soil to grow strong and vigorous plants in your garden? In order to create and maintain healthy soil, you need to understand the basics of soil science, with a focus on soil biology.

There are millions of organisms living in our soil. These organisms are vital to the health of our gardens. Adding organic material to your garden beds has multiple positive effects for your soil and plants. In this animated video, “Excuses to Buy More Plants” from Fine Gardening, learn more about the interactions between organisms in your soil and plants, and how to feed and support these organisms.

For even more information on how to support soil life, check out the article How to Support Soil Life by Anne Bilke from Fine Gardening #195. Here’s how it begins:

The vitality and resiliency of every garden depends on plants interacting with a vast array of insects, fungi, and microorganisms, especially those that make their homes in the soil. Through their root systems, plants participate in diverse underground communities where nutrients are continuously exchanged and recycled. The above-ground parts of a plant also play a role, with certain soil dwellers relying on material such as dead leaves as a food source. Keeping soil-based communities in mind, gardeners must think carefully about what we add to the soil and minimize activities that disrupt soil life.

 

More information on improving soil quality:

Everything You Need to Know About Composting

Put the Life Back Into Your Soil

How to Support Soil Life

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