Soil Health: Understanding, Testing, and Maintaining Home Garden Soil

We've heard that healthy plants require healthy soil, but what is 'healthy' soil and how do we achieve it? We often take soil for granted and think of it as only an inert medium that we manipulate for crop/plant production. This class will help us understand soil as a functioning ecosystem—a key factor in the natural cycle of nutrients and energy. We will review the basic properties of soil, the living organisms it supports, and the different nutrients required for healthy plants. We will also discuss the role of soil fertility testing, how to have it done, and how to interpret the lab results. We will then explore the nature and application of different types of fertilizers and conclude with a summary of recommended practices for promoting soil health.