How to build good soil
Stefan Holt, SCA Farmer
23 February 2018
I am not a master gardener nor do I claim to be an expert in the field of micro biology but understanding how your soil works is an important part of growing. Even if you don’t know how to pronounce all those long words, the important part is knowing how those things work to improve your soil
Understanding soil


Photo uploaded Feb 2018

The Soil

Building good soil is the bedrock of growing vegetables, plants, and flowers. I must admit that I was a little naive when I started growing produce. I just thought you tilled the land, drop some seeds and water. That’s it. Nothing more to it I thought. Boy, was I completely wrong. There is a lot more to it!
Building good soil doesn’t have to be complicated but it does need to be understood. A beginning gardener can get lost in all the information out there about the best way to build good soil. I will break it down as best I can. Simplifying in the process.

1) Good soil needs air pockets

Why you ask? Because compacted ground prevents water from getting to the roots and it also cuts off any room for growth.

2) Good soil needs micro-organisms

The goal of any gardener is to try to create an ecosystem within your soil in which the smallest of organisms are able to not only survive but to thrive. Micro-organisms include a wide variety of microscopic life including algae, fungi and bacteria. The purpose of these micro-organisms is to eat the organic matter and in the process provide nutrients to plants and improve the soil.

3) Good soil should hold water well

Garden soil is only as good as it can hold water and provide it to your plants root system.  A loose soil will erode and wash away, preventing any serious growth potential. A compact soil structure will restrict water. As noted earlier, air pockets help with the ability for soil to retain water.

4) Good soil requires water

There is no way around gardening without providing adequate watering to your soil and by extension, your plants.
Water is the basis of all life and it is no different with your garden.
In future posts, I will take each one of these components and see what we can do to make the soil we’re creating even better.


“Building good soil doesn’t have to be complicated but it does need to be understood.”
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