Soil health is the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. The goal of this program is to encourage our soils to function ecologically well and bring healing to the land.
The four principles of soil health:
1. Disturb the soil as little as possible.
2. Keep plants growing throughout the year to feed the soil life.
3. Maximize plant diversity.
4. Keep the soil covered as much as possible.
Excellent resources exist for us to explore soil health and conservation including NRCS Soil Health, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, and the Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society.
The Soil Health Program Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are in place to help people help the land. The Soil Health Program is an initiative to provide technical and financial assistance to improve soil health and water quality in Marion and Hendricks Counties. The program is made possible through Clean Water Indiana competitive grant funds awarded to the districts.
Soil health is the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans. Improving it can be accomplished through a systems approach to your landscape: Disturbing the soil as little as possible, keeping plants growing throughout the year to feed soil life, maximizing plant diversity where possible, and keeping the soil covered and protected. Soil building practices like nutrient management, garden cover crops, mulching, and deep rooted native plants are tools that the SWCD can help you understand and utilize.
For more information click the link below:
Landowners and farmers across the nation increasingly realize that healthy soils are the key to fostering more productive, profitable and sustainable farms—for healthy, sustainable, long-term returns. This Soil Health Information Starter Kit will provide you with the basics and benefits of soil health, and ideas on how you can work with your farmer to build soil equity by using soil health management systems that include cover crops, diverse rotations and no-till practices. Click here to order your free kit today.
A cover crop is a plant that is used primarily to slow erosion, improve soil health, enhance water availability, smother weeds, help control pests and diseases, increase biodiversity and bring a host of other benefits to your farm.
Cover crops have also been shown to increase crop yields, break through a plow pan, add organic matter to the soil, improve crop diversity on farms and attract pollinators. There is an increasing body of evidence that growing cover crops increases resilience in the face of erratic and increasingly intensive rainfall, as well as under drought conditions. Cover crops help when it doesn’t rain, they help when it rains, and they help when it pours!
Find upcoming soil health training events at the link below:
or contact our urban soil health specialist, Kevin Allison, by going to the “contact us” tab at the top of this page.