- 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)! Healthy Soils Week takes place Dec. 5-9 and is full of educational opportunities that celebrate and learn about the many benefits of improving the health and resilience of California's soil.
This year the UC Master Gardener Program, UC ANR and the CDFA are hosting free events across the state. Join us all week for exciting, free healthy-soil activities on the farm, in the garden 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.
2022 Healthy Soils Week Event Highlights
- Monday, December 5 — 10:00 am.
WEBINAR: Building Belowground Biodiversity
Webinar with CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and members of the Belowground Biodiversity Advisory Committee (BBAC). The committee is made up of world-renowned scientists seeking to better understand how soil biodiversity may impact soil health. The BBAC is tasked with preparing a report of their recommendations on biodiversity indicators as a proxy of soil health and ecosystem functions. This webinar will discuss the importance and impact of belowground biodiversity on soil health and presenters will also share some of the work they have completed.
- Tuesday, December 6 — 10:00 am.
Facebook LIVE with the UC Master Gardener Program - Healthy Soil: In Nature Sometimes Less Is More
Understanding the nature and composition of soil is the first step in our understanding of how to achieve sustainable, healthy soil in our gardens.
Speaker: Mike Corby, UC Master Gardener Volunteer Contra Costa County. (No registration required.)
- Weds., December 7 — 10:00 am
Facebook LIVE with the UC Master Gardener Program - Harnessing the Magic of the Soil Food Web: Turning Dirt into Gold
Soil is the foundation for life providing habitat, recycling wastes and toxins, providing structural and nutritional support for plants. Over the past 150 years, more industrial practices have replaced natural methods that degrade soil structure and degrade populations of soil organisms, weakening the natural control of soil borne diseases and pests. This has contributed to a reliance on the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides. These chemicals not only affect the soil, but the biodiversity of organisms that rely on the soil and the plants that grow in it. Nurturing soil is one of the best things you can do as a gardener. Plants thrive in soil that is teeming with life. Learn why this really matters and how to modify your soils to improve plant health and reduce disease and pests. (No registration required.)
Speaker: Kit Veerkamp, UC Master Gardener Volunteer in El Dorado County.
Weds., December 7 — 11:00 am
NRCS Webinar: Web Soil Survey Presentation
Hosted by California NRCS, the Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation's counties. Moderated and presented by Phil Smith, California NRCS Area Resource Soil Scientist, and Tony Rolfes, California State Soil Scientist. This is a presentation on WSS and other Soil Web Tools for gathering soils information and maps.
- Thurs., December 8
UC Master Gardener Statewide Blog Post: Tips to Improve your Garden Soil
- Friday, December 9 — 9:00 am - 3:00 pm.
Healthy Soils Program Demonstration Field Day in Salinas
Demonstrations from the University of California Cooperative Extension, California State University Monterey Bay, Central Coast Water Board, and the resource conservation districts of Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. Morning and afternoon sessions will be available. (Registration is required.)
Ask your local UC Master Gardener Program
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.