Bear with my whilst I talk about soil! It’s my favourite subject in the world, but why is soil so important!?
Soil might seem boring, but did you know it’s one of the most biodiverse and abundant ecosystems on the planet, it’s essential for almost all life on earth and it might even hold the answer to climate change?
As gardeners we know that soil is important because it’s what we plant our plants into, and where our plants get their nutrients from.
So here it is, 5 reasons why soil is so important. Stay tuned for the last one, because you might just be surprised!
Soil manages water. Water that ends up as ground water runs through the soil where it gets cleaned. The soil can extract chemicals, disease causing bacteria and heavy metals. That’s how come we can drink water pumped out of wells! But soil also stores water meaning that healthy, well structured soil can help to prevent flooding and drought.
Soil microbes in our food help to bolster our gut biome. Over the last 20 years or so scientists have started to understand just how important “good bacteria” in our guts are, and that’s why probiotics exist! But food growing in healthy soil contributes significantly to our gut health and our health overall.
Biodiversity! There are more organisms in one handful of garden soil than humans who have ever lived. Soil is a major contributor to global biodiversity, which helps regulate our planet – keep an eye out for my video on the importance of biodiversity coming out soon. Soil biodiversity is largely overlooked because it is mostly microscopic, but did you know that almost all of the microorganisms used to produce antibiotics come from the soil? If that isn’t enough to convince you of its importance, maybe try this…
Food security. Here in the UK over 95% of our food comes from the soil. Without soil we would not be able to grow, harvest or forage for food. Animals would not have access to food and earth’s ecosystems simply wouldn’t exist.
Carbon storage. Yep, soil contains around twice as much carbon as the atmosphere. In fact plants are pumping carbon down into the soil on a constant basis and healthy, undisturbed soil becomes more and more carbon rich over time, meaning that it could be a very simple, elegant and cheap way of sequestering carbon. The problem is that global agriculture is constantly disturbing and releasing carbon from the ground. Check out the film Kiss The Ground for more information on this.
Check out the video on my YouTube channel!