Soil contributes 95% of our food – we’d be pretty hungry without it. So there are certain steps that we can take to improve the quality of our soil for farming:
• Food, water, shelter and air- four elements required for living creatures above soil. Living soil also needs these elements. We can build soil health all-year-round by feeding and caring for it. We can add fallen leaves, garden debris, and kitchen scraps as an organic diet for soil.
• Instead of digging, we can let the worms do the tilling by using sheet mulching techniques. Sheet mulching is the process of building compost right on the soil surface.
• Whenever there is an interval in farming, we can add organic matter to soil by using green manures and cover crops. Besides adding organic matter, it also lightens and loosens soil structure, and enriches garden nutrients. Cover crops also act as a living mulch to shelter soils and control weeds in the off-season.
• If an essential nutrient is missing, soil health will surely suffer. Soil tests can come to the rescue.
• Mulch is a covering that blocks weed seeds from sunlight so they don’t germinate, inhibits growth underneath itself, and retains moisture. Also, mulch provides needed nutrients as it decomposes over time and moderates soil temperatures.