Celebrate World Soil Day: December 5, 2017

[Blog Post by Ann Hall, Environmental Education Specialist, ahall@thewoodlandstownship-tx.gov]

Soil is where our food begins.  World Soil Day (December 5, 2017) celebrates the importance of soil.  Healthy soil grows healthy food and other plants.  The nutritional value of food is directly connected to the health of the soil.  A limited resource, soil has been degraded worldwide by poor management practices, expansion of urban areas and population increases.

World Soil Day is a time to consider what you can do to enhance the health of the soil in your own yard and garden.  Creating healthy soil consists of a few simple steps every homeowner can do:
• Obtain a soil test
• Use the soil test results to add the proper balance of nutrients to your soil
• Add organic matter (such as compost) to improve soil structure, water holding capacity and add microorganisms

Texas A&M University’s Soil Testing Laboratory provides a complete soil analysis for a very low cost.  The procedure includes sampling your soil, submitting the sample to the soil testing laboratory and adding the soil amendments recommended by the testing lab. The Urban and Homeowner Soil Sample Information Form may be accessed here.

Learning to compost is a cost-effective way of creating rich organic matter containing crucial microorganisms to enhance your soil.  Join the Montgomery County Master Gardeners as they provide free classes on how to compost.  Classes are held the first Saturday of December, January and February. For more information on The Woodlands Township’s compost classes, visit our website.

“Caring for the planet starts from the ground,” the theme of World Soil Day 2017, is something each person can do. You can make a difference in your own landscape and garden and celebrate World Soil Day by incorporating these steps into your gardening routines.