Healthy soils for a healthy California

“Does it really take 500 to 1,000 years to form an inch of soil? No wonder we have to protect our soil."

“I've heard about soil organic matter, and I know it is supposed to be good for my soil – but how does it really help and what can I do about it?"

People increasingly have such questions as they realize the importance of living in a healthy environment and the role that healthy soils play. An overarching question from many though – including farmers, home gardeners, ranchers and natural resource managers – is, “Where can I go to get practical tips about building healthy soil?”

We're glad you asked! UC Agriculture and Natural Resources has brought its wealth of helpful information together under a new website: Healthy Soils. The site provides credible, relevant, practical (how to) information to help the people of California build and protect their soils. It draws on the knowledge and expertise of more than 30 scientists spread across the UC system and beyond.

The site not only provides practical information on how to build your soil, but it also summarizes some of the real benefits and the challenges of building and managing your soil.

Healthy Soils is a one-stop shop for credible practical "how to" information to help build your soil and links to collaborative efforts with many partners including: the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the California Farm Bureau Federation and local National Resource Conservation Districts.

For more, contact:

Margaret Lloyd, based in Yolo County (Soils for Farmers: Annual Crops & Orchards)

Dustin Blakey, based in Inyo/Mono counties (Soils for Homes and Gardens)

Sheila Barry, based in Santa Clara County (Soils for Ranchers & Natural Resource Managers)

Theresa Becchetti, based in San Joaquin County (Soils for Ranchers & Natural Resource Managers)

Daniel Geisseler, UC Davis (Soils for Farmers: Annual Crops & Orchards)

Mark Bell, (Vice Provost Strategic Initiatives and Statewide programs)

A cutaway shows soil quality in a farm field.

By Mark Bell
Author - Vice Provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs