- Author: Melissa G. Womack
Learn and celebrate Healthy Soils Week with the UC Master Gardener Program and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Dec. 6-10! Healthy Soils Week is full of resources, virtual activities, and at-home projects to check out.
Soil quality is critical to healthy plants and is a vital part of our living ecosystem. Soil is alive with organisms that slowly grow or change depending on what is added, how the soil is used, and environmental conditions. Soil health, much like our own, is best improved gradually over time so focusing on regular or constant improvement helps achieve and sustain soil health. Adding certain practices into your gardening routine, such as incorporating organic matter, can be a great place to start.
For more UC ANR information about healthy soils for a healthy California visit: ucanr.edu/sites/soils.
2021 Healthy Soils Week Event Highlights
The California Department of Food and Agriculture and its many partners have teamed up to highlight healthy soils activities on the farm and at home. Find a full list of partners participating in Healthy Soils Week and a calendar of this year's online activities at: cdfa.ca.gov/healthysoilsweek.
Monday, Dec. 6:
- NRCS Rainfall Simulator Demonstration - Hosted by California Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS). The Rainfall Simulator provides a demonstration of how practices such as no-till farming, cover crops, and prescribed grazing benefit soil health and improve the water cycle on cropland and rangeland. Presented by Dr. Kabir Zahangir, NRCS Regional Soil Health Specialist. This demonstration includes discussion of topics such as soil structure, aggregate stability, and infiltration.
Tuesday, Dec. 7:
- Soil Health Connection – Topic of the Day: The Soil Health Connection is a collection of videos on soil health and related topics. Liz Harper from Colusa County Resource Conservation District and Sarah Light, a UC ANR Farm Advisor, have put together a series of interviews with individuals who are actively involved in improving soil in the Sacramento Valley and beyond. A new video will be featured each day of Healthy Soils Week.
Weds., Dec. 8:
- A Walk Through the Soil Tunnel: Hosted by California NRCS. The Soil Tunnel is an educational tool designed to teach and promote the importance of soils and soil health. It illustrates through the use of images, the important functions of the soil. Through this interactive soil exhibit, audience of all ages can view the world below the ground by walking through the Tunnel. Presented by Luis Alvarez, California NRCS Soil Scientist. This video takes the audience on a walk through the soil tunnel to “unlock the secrets in the soil”.
Thurs., Dec. 9:
- Composting for At-Home Gardeners: Here's a tip for gardeners! By using compost and organic matter, you can reduce plant water needs by as much as 30 percent. Learn more about what compost can do for urban and home soils with the Save Our Water campaign.
Friday, Dec. 10:
- Soil Ribboning with Mikie McDonnell: California Rangeland Trust Stewardship Specialist, Mikie McDonnell leads us in a soil ribboning activity. This kid-friendly activity will teach participants more about what makes up the soil around them. Grab a cup of soil and get ready to get your hands dirty!
Ask your local UC Master Gardener
Growing and supporting soil health is something all of us can contribute to whether we have a full landscape to work in, a small patio, or a community garden plot. For more gardening help and local county resources, click here to Find a Program. You will be redirected to your local county website and contact information. UC Master Gardener volunteers are available to help answer questions for FREE about your gardening zone, pests, composting, and the soil in your area.