Happy World Soil Day!

December 5, 2014
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‘Tis the season to celebrate…the soil!  December 5th is World Soil Day, making this the perfect time to learn more about this valuable living resource.  The folks at RainScapes have rounded up some great soil resources to get you started!

When we think RainScapes, we often think a lot about the beautiful native plants and landscapes that work so well to create healthy watersheds…but the real workhorses of these gardens are the healthy soils and plant root systems.  World Soil Day provides a great opportunity to learn more about how your soils function and what you can do to improve the soil health of your own landscape.

Check out the resources below for more information and spend some of this slow gardening season planning how to improve your soil.

 

Conservation landscape

Cross section of soil

Photo courtesy of the Natural Resources Conservation Service

A Living Resource

Did you know that soil is a living resource and also essential to healthy watersheds?

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) describes how:

“There are many ways that the soil food web is an integral part of landscape processes. Soil organisms decompose organic compounds, including manure, plant residue, and pesticides, preventing them from entering water and becoming pollutants. They sequester nitrogen and other nutrients that might otherwise enter groundwater, and they fix nitrogen from the atmosphere, making it available to plants. Many organisms enhance soil aggregation and porosity, thus increasing infiltration and reducing runoff.”

Learn more about living soils on the NRCS website or take a look at this infographic about the relationship between soil and food.

The biodiversity of soil

Test Your Soil

Southern States on Route 27, between Germantown and Damascus, provides soil sample bags and testing services using A & L Laboratories.  You can drop off a soil sample for testing at the store location at  23000 Davis Mill Road, Germantown.  You will need to provide about a pint of soil (the equivalent of a lunch-bag sized amount).

Free Soil Documentary

In honor of World Soil Day, the film Symphony of the Soil is streaming live from December 5th through the 12th.  You don’t want to miss this opportunity to see it for FREE!

 

Symphony of the Soil movie poster

 

Guest blog by Pamela Rowe, RainScapes Planner, DEP

 



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