Each new year brings a fresh start. It’s a good time to start thinking about what we can do differently to improve our quality of life and that of others. Our landscapes and the ecosystems within them allow us to do that, particularly when it comes to soil. Let’s explore how focusing on healthy soil can make a difference in 2022 and beyond. Taking a Closer Look If you were ever a kid playing with soil in your yard or garden, your mind probably wasn’t wandering below the surface. People don’t put much thought into what or who it benefits or how they can improve the ecosystems that depend on it. But soil is much, much more than dirt. It encompasses a whole world of living things, and our planet depends on it. Humans, animals, and plants alike need soil for clean water, nutrients, temperature regulation, and structure.

Just how many organisms depend on soil? A single tablespoon of healthy soil has more microorganisms and macroorganisms than the sum of all the human beings on the planet. 

Knowing What to Look For

Even though most soil is underground, there are a few tell-tale signs you can look for to determine whether or not it is healthy.

If you’re a landscaper or lawn care provider, here are a few questions you can start with:

  • Is the soil storing air and water?
  • Is there ample organic matter present? 
  • Are the roots developing properly? 
  • Is the room system spread out? 
  • Can excess water easily drain through the soil? 
  • Is the soil dark and moist? 
  • Is there visible plant and animal activity (i.e. fungi or earthworms)

If you answered no to any of these questions, you may need to make soil care a priority in 2022. 

How to Turn Things Around in 2022

It is crucial for lawn care professionals to keep soil healthy because it is, in many ways, the lifeblood of their business. You can’t achieve that picturesque landscape for individuals, businesses, and municipalities without it. 

There are several steps you can take to improve the appearance and quality of your soil depending on what the specific problem is. For example, if your soil is light, dry, or too highly compact, consider adding a new fertilizer or amendment to provide more water and nutrients to plants. Some products will also help correct pH levels and reduce plant stress. 

You should also use chemicals sparingly and get to know the pesticides and herbicides you’re working with. If the products you’re using have a potential negative impact on human health and the environment, there’s a good chance they’re also harmful to the soil and the microbes living within it.

Keep in mind that it is relatively easy to get a soil test that checks for things like organic matter, nutrients, and pH levels. Generally, you only have to test your soil every one to three years if you are trying to make more significant changes.

Remember, everything is connected to everything else, so let’s make it one of our resolutions to nurture that connection in the new year. Here’s to making the landscaping business abundantly successful and beneficial in 2022! 

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