What is the importance of soil, you ask?
Soil is not just soil. Soil is as alive as your plants, bustling and thriving with organic life. It’s rich in organic matter to support life in the soil, so all your plants flourish.
“Essentially, all life depends on the soil… there can be no life without soil and no soil without life; they have evolved together.” – Charles E. Kellogg, USDA Yearbook of Agriculture, 1938
What is soil?
Soil is a mixture of minerals, of both dead and living organisms (organic materials), as well as air and water in varying proportions. Their four ingredients interact with each other in amazing ways, making soil one of our planet’s most dynamic and important natural resources.
Healthy soil is 45% mineral (soil solids), 25% air (soil pore spaces), 25% water and 5% organic matter. However, knowing what soil is made of is only part of the story. The way soil constituents are organised (its structure) has a key influence on how they interact with one another and thus controls soil processes.
The key to healthy soil
The key to healthy soil is Bio-Life, a source of organic matter. Our Westland Planting Soil for Vegetables, Westland Planting Soil for Flowers and Westland Soil Improver contains Bio-Life. Bio-Life is comprised from biological as well as chemical and physical components that all perform different functions within the soil.
- Biological – organic matter provides food for microorganisms.
- Chemical – increases cation exchange capacity in soils. It buffers the soil environment and stabilises against heat and cold extremes and pH fluctuations.
- Physical – a strong physical component builds a better soil structure. This also helps soil wetting, improves water penetration and water retention.
The importance of soil: supporting the ecosystem
By planting in the ground, gardeners are helping to support and protect the soil eco-system. In turn, this ecosystem supports our planet making the importance of soil high for any garden.. Without soil, human life would be very difficult. Soil provides plants with the foothold for their roots. It also holds the necessary nutrients to allow plants to grow. Additionally, it filters the rainwater and regulates excess rainwater, which prevents flooding. Plus, it’s capable of storing large amounts of organic carbon, buffering against pollutants and protecting groundwater quality.