From Gardener's Supply (www.gardeners.com)

Soil Regeneration

The practice of building healthy soil

Rubber boots standing in healthy soil with shovel

At Gardener's Supply, we believe that healthy soils are the foundation for healthy gardens, healthy people, and a healthy planet. To that end, we've been inspiring and educating gardeners about how to care for and improve their soil since our first day in business.

The practice of building healthy soil isn't new. Generations ago, farmers and gardeners took care of their soil because they had to. Since synthetic fertilizers didn't exist, gardeners had to make sure the soil itself could provide plants with the nutrients they needed.

Bringing Dead Soil Back to Life

With the advent of fast-acting chemical fertilizers, the laborious practices of spreading manure and compost, growing cover crops, and crop rotation fell by the wayside. Decades of neglect left many soils essential dead — depleted of nutrients and void of the complex web of life in a healthy soil ecosystem.

The term "soil regeneration" simply refers to the practice of building (or rebuilding) healthy soil. Fortunately, there are ways to bring soil back to life, and to continually nurture the underground ecosystem — plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, etc. — that keep the above-ground ecosystem thriving (the video below explains how).

Soil Carbon and Climate Change

Healthy soil also contains lots of carbon, in decaying organic matter, roots, and, especially in humus. Humus is fully decomposed organic matter that contains a very stable form of carbon. It essentially locks the carbon into the soil so it can't escape into the atmosphere to form carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. That means that the act of building healthy soil can play a major role in mitigating climate change (learn more in the video below).

We gardeners have vital role in this process. Collectively our patches of healthy garden soil can store huge amounts of carbon. Each of us can — and must! —play a role in building healthy soil if we hope to leave future generations with a healthy planet.

Last updated: 6/10/19