“To forget how to tend the soils is to forget ourselves”. – Mahatma Gandhi
When a tiny seedling springs forth from the earth, it does so with all the promise of blossoming into a fruitful, healthy plant. If these saplings stand solidly in good soil, then you give them more than a promise – you give them life.
When you decide to place a seed in the ground in the hopes it will grow, do you wonder if your plant will get all the nutrients and nourishment it needs to help it yield its true organic potential? Does the soil just look as if it will do the job, or are you sure it can provide the 16 essential nutrients which the roots of your plants seek? Remember, what your soil gives your plants, is what your plants will give to you. Soil is more than just dirt, it is the essence of those green leaves, stalks and delicious fruits it helps bring forth. In other words, the success of your garden lies in the health of the soil.
Therefore, you cannot afford to plant in just any type of soil. When you turn over the soil with your gardener’s spade, can you smell the rich, earthy scent of good soil? Do the nutrients present in your soil make it dark and rich in color? This is the assurance that your plants are in good hands…uhhh…good soil.
The creation of good soil is done quite carefully. Soil is a combination of sand, silt, clay particles, water, air and microorganisms. Good soil is alive – it contains plant and animal matter as well as minerals. This is called humus, a part of soil that helps produce high quality, healthy plants. Good soil stores a lot of humus and organic matter to release to plants to sustain them. If the soil you are using is not rich in humus and organic matter, what is the soil nourishing your plants with?
If soil has not decomposed life, how can it create life?
The soil ecosystem is just as simple as any other – living and once-living organisms, such as earthworms, which exist in good soil, pave the way for plants to receive the nitrogen and carbon they need. The more organic materials you add to your soil, the more nutrients your soil has, which makes your soil more fertile. When it comes to good, bad and ugly soils, no gardener worth their soil is going to choose the bad or the ugly over the good, is he/she? You don’t want a soil that will rob your plants of the chance to be healthy and productive; you want a soil that can give your plants what they need.
Vegetables and fruits that are produced by trees planted in good soil are organic and mineral rich. These veggies are rich in essential vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytonutrients. They are low in calories, sodium, cholesterol, sugar, and saturated fat and help boost our immune system. Watery vegetables cultivated in good soil also provide a source of mineral rich water for humans. This means when you choose good soil to grow your plants in, you are choosing to garden, eat and live the healthy way.
You are also doing more than creating a healthier you; you are helping form a sustainable earth. How, you ask? Good soil helps regulate the earth’s temperature and many greenhouse gases. For example, soil removes the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and stores it as soil carbon. It stores, conserves and filters our water. Together with plants, it keeps our air clean and provides the essential nutrients to our forests.