Healthy soil is dark, well-drained and loose. Once you’ve established your perfect garden, it is important that you maintain the health of your garden’s soil. The Natural Resource Conservation Service defines soil health as a soil’s capacity to function as an ecosystem that supports plants, animals, and humans. Indicators of healthy soil include loose granular structure, well-drained but moist soil, and a relatively dark soil color (influenced by organic matter).
Managing for soil health is one key step toward having a successful garden this summer. Avoiding compaction, covering with dense leaf mulch, applying organic matter, adding biochar, and keeping the soil covered are simple tips that will reap great rewards.