What Does Healthy Soil Look, Feel + Smell Like?

choose the best soil in your garden

The kind of soil our edible garden thrives in is:

  • Dark in colour
  • Dotted with air pockets
  • Wormy
  • Smells earthy and good
  • Threaded with roots
  • Broken apart easily into soft clumps
  • A lightly moist, peaty texture

Not many of us inherit this type of soil (wouldn’t that be awesome!), most of us begin on hard, dry, poor, barren or minerally imbalanced ground. Our job, as gardeners, is to steadily transform it. It takes a bit of time but its not at all difficult, and it’s such a thrill!

Your end goal is a living soil. A home for millions of microscopic life forms – protozoa, fungi, bacteria, nematodes, arthropods, worms… the invisible workforce that takes care of everything (yes! everything!), plants + trees, need to be productive and well:

  • accessing minerals that are in short supply
  • balancing ph
  • siphoning off minerals in excess
  • cleaning up toxins
  • building immunity
  • fixing nitrogen
  • sharing moisture
  • warning of pest and disease
  • strengthening against pest and disease

The more diverse the soil life, the less pest + disease and the better the cropping = your easy garden life!

So, get to know your soil! It’s at the heart of being a food gardener.

Don’t rely on lab tests alone, do it in real time, in the very best of ways, by regularly testing with your hands and eyes and nose.

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