A healthy soil is important whether you are growing vegetables for your family in a home garden or growing crops to feed livestock. A healthy soil is key to good crop yields and long term viability of the field or garden. Soil health is something you should take the time to learn about!
Four basic principles for managing your soil health
Here are the four principles for managing your soil health:
Minimize disturbance of the soil – less tillage, hoeing, roto-tilling – disturbing the soil in this way consumes organic matter and destroys beneficial soil organisms.
Maximize diversity of plants in rotation – planting different crops or plants is important – above ground diversity makes below ground diversity in the soil biota which is important to soil health.
Keep living roots in the soil as much as possible – after the summer crops are through, plant a winter cover crop such as winter rye, oats etc.
Keep soil covered all the times with plants and plant residue – keeping cover on the soil helps the soil retain moisture and builds organic matter.