The Rudimentary Guide to Garden Soil

Call it what you will, muck, mud, dirt or earth. There are many words for that strange but valuable resource better known as simple garden soil. It is easy to take soil for granted, but this fascinating collection of minerals is the basic substance from which provides humans with food, clothes and shelter.

It can take anywhere from a century to a millennium to form a single centimeter cube of quality garden soil. But ignorance and a lack of understanding of the importance of soil can destroy that same cubic centimeter in as little as 10 years. This is a scary thought when one considers how important soil is to human life and civilization. 


To help spread knowledge about a substance that is essential to human life I have compiled this short guide to the three most important components of garden soil. This will help you protect your garden from harm in the future. If you are working on making your garden the perfect outdoor haven finish your space with perfect furniture from The Garden Furniture Shop.

Looking After Garden Soil

1. Add organic matter to your soil

Organic matter is important to a healthy soil. Organic matter not only adds nourishment to the soil which improves plant life, but it also improves the structures and textures of soil making it better at holding and releasing moisture and preventing erosion. Organic compounds are typically made of decaying animal and plant fibers as well as manure. An average home compost is an essential component of healthy soil. 

If you have not already begun this important process and if you have the small cubic meter of space to begin, start composting today. All you need are the organic wastes produced in the human habitat along with leaves and other organic materials you can find. Here you will find a PDF which provides plenty of information on how to get your small-scale composting production off the ground. 

Just be sure to avoid working with soil that is wet or frozen, this can damage the composition of soil and reduce its quality. 

2. Keep soil covered

Finally, a reason to cut back on that one tedious garden task.

Believe it or not, the roots of plants help to tie the soil together and bring important fungal interactions that can improve soil life. This improves the quality and nourishment soil provides. With this in mind, don’t stress too much about the presence of weeds in your soil especially as winter begins to set in. The weeds in your garden can go a long way in keeping your soil healthy for the next year. 

3. Avoid artificial chemicals and fertilizers on soil 

The best solution is to use all-organic fertilizers and soil amendments.

While research is still being done, there are plenty of reasons to believe that artificial fertilizers and chemicals are actually decreasing the quality of soil on a massive scale. So, it will be better to avoid the use of these products until more research can be done. 

If you are not sure, better not use any chemicals at all. Some of the best natural fertilizers include seaweed, compost as well as manure.  If you really want to boost the performance of your soil, consider the benefits of crop rotation.  

4. Symphony of the Soil from Lily Films on Vimeo 

Keep out for the documentary Symphony of the Soil. This fascinating documentary takes the viewer on a voyage of discovery and a deeper understanding of the beauty and importance of soil. I have a licensed copy of this documentary so if you would like to view it in Ireland, just contact me. Once you have seen this important documentary, you will have a new appreciation for soil and see your world in a new light.   

And please head on over to People 4 Soil and help us breathe new life into our planet. People4Soil is an organization of scientists, farmers and concerned citizens looking to offer soil adequate protection. Although a proposal for a new Soil Framework Directive was sidelined in May 2014, we are hoping for another campaign that protects soil and ensures a healthier future for the planet.

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Tom Rico

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