Soil vs. Dirt?
Although the words “dirt” and “soil” are often used interchangeably, to a gardener, there’s a big difference! “Soil” (cue angelic music) is what gives life to a garden – full of organic matter, minerals and nutrients. But not all soil is created equal, which is why it’s a great idea to get to know your soil first, so that you can make additions and amendments if anything is lacking.
Today, we’ll take a closer look at soil, how to take soil samples for testing, what happens to those soil tests after we mail them off and what the results mean, and ways to bring the best of all soil amendments – compost – into to your landscape, lawn, and garden.
Whenever struggling with a plant problem, one of the first considerations should be, “Have I done a soil test?” Many plant problems can be easily rectified once we know the condition of the soil. And just imagine if you plan a bit ahead to test and amend and build your soil from season to season…
When you focus on creating healthy, nutrient-rich soil by testing first and adding lots of organic matter, the soil has everything it needs to take care of your plants without the need for chemical fertilizers. Joe goes to the source with a tour of a soil testing lab and the U.S. Composting Council for a better understanding of how to create the best foundation in your home garden.
What’s that delicious aroma? No, we mean besides the amazing smell of earthy, healthy soil. Why, it’s Chef Nathan’s herb-roasted vegetable dish featuring carrots, potatoes, parsnips and onions! Once again Chef Nathan brings the garden to the kitchen with an delectable, simple, family-pleasing dish – one that did not last long in the studio.
For more information:
- Find your local Cooperative Extension office, contact info, classes and events
- US Composting Council website
- Atlantic Mulch and Erosion Control
- Episode 225: Backyard Composting in the 21st Century
- Episode 106: Large-Scale Composting with Cedar Grove
- Compost Diving with Joe Lamp’l
- Chef Nathan’s Recipe: Herb-Roasted Root Vegetables