Healthy soils sustain life. Without them we would not be able to raise the food needed by the world. Whether it is for pasture, grain crops, fruits or vegetables developing healthy, fertile soil begins with knowing the current condition of your soil. The best way to start is by having your soil tested. A simple soil test can tell you things like your soils pH, nutrient content, organic matter and other useful information. Instead of guessing what to put on your soil to improve it a soil test will let you know how much lime and fertilizer to use possibly saving you from over-applying. This not only can save you money but also greatly reduce the potential for excess nutrients to become a part of stormwater runoff or groundwater leaching thereby entering our streams and rivers contributing to lower water quality.
Healthy soils are more than just having good fertility or nutrient content. A truly healthy soil is a complex system and consists of not just the nutrients in the soil but also the soils organic and mineral matter along with the vast array of soil microbes found beneath the surface. Building up a worn out, non-healthy soil can be done but like many things it is a process taken a step at a time.
Scioto SWCD can help you with soil testing and improving your soils health be it through the use of practices such as cover crops or developing a nutrient management plan.