It’s just dirt right? When you live in a place like Nebraska, isn't all our soil good? In today's world of chemical fertilizers, synthetic soils, and pesticides, we are losing sight of an important reality: Soils are alive.
Soils contain millions of living organisms many of which help control pests and prevent plant disease. These organisms also form symbiotic relationships with plant roots giving the plants much needed nutrients. Best of all, these organisms improve the soil structure so your plants will get healthier every year.
Industrial agriculture, chemical fertilizers, chemically treated mulches and soils, all these things strip the soil of it's nutrients and kill off the important organisms that live inside it. The next year you either need to put down more chemicals or else your lawn and plants will suffer.
So what can we do about it? According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization(UNFAO), it can take up to 1000 years to form 1 cm of soil. Protecting our soil needs to be a priority because it is not an unlimited resource.
Fortunately for us, plants grew just fine for millions of years before we came along. And they managed to do this because of the natural systems that exist to replenish the soil. We can help speed this process up through sustainable soil management practices. According to the UNFAO, sustainable soil management could produce up to 58% more food.
The key to sustainable soil management is compost. A high quality, organic compost helps speed up the process of soil creation by supercharging bacteria and other microorganisms to break down plant matter. When you add compost to your soil you are not only feeding that soil with nutrients, but you are reintroducing healthy bacteria and other microorganisms to your landscape. This is why organic fertilizers and organic pesticides are another important step in keeping your soil alive and healthy.