master the garden: soil basics

Soil. A natural body embracing the topsoil, but also the subsoil and other layers above its parent rock – is a complex material that supports all life on earth and is a product of the environment – of the rock waste which is its parent material, of the climate under which it weathers, of the kind of topography upon which it is situated, of the vegetation and other organisms with which it develops, and of the length of time during which it has been developing. 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock

what the SOM?

soil organic matter as an indicator of soil health So what is SOM? The USDA defines SOM as: the organic component of soil consisting of three primary parts: (fresh) plant residues and small living organisms (active) decomposing organic matter (humus) stable organic matter Most of us understand the importance of sufficient nutrition in the soilContinue reading “what the SOM?”

Biochar: cutting-edge technique with ancient roots

Dating back thousands of years to a civilization in the Amazon Basin, soil scientists have analyzed regions of dark rich soil found within historically inhabited areas and found high concentrations of charcoal and organic matter.