By Bob Wasson
There are no marching bands, no fireworks displays and nobody is dancing in the streets. Nevertheless, there is an extraordinarily important – albeit quiet – global celebration taking place this year.
Welcome to the 2015 International Year of Soils! The goal is to raise the awareness and promote the sustainability of our limited soil resources. And you are invited to join in the celebration.
As your backyard garden would attest, soil is the basis for healthy food production. It also provides us with plants we use for feed, fiber, fuel and medicine. But it is a nonrenewable resource, and so we need to make sure we take care of it.
Here are four easy things you can do to take better care of the soil in your yard and garden:
Avoid working in your garden when it’s wet. When soil is compacted, it becomes a solid, bricklike mass that is much less productive.
Try to keep an even supply of water throughout your garden. Regular watering and mulching can help.
Cut back on herbicides and pesticides whenever possible. They can seriously alter the chemistry, structure and nutritional content of your garden soil.
Learn how to make and use organic fertilizers. Compost is an excellent source of organic matter and is both easy and inexpensive to produce.
Maintaining healthy soil is fundamental to good gardening, and it is not hard to do. If you need assistance with landscaping, soil improvement, erosion or any other question, the professionals at your neighborhood nursery or garden center will be happy to help.
Let the celebration of the 2015 International Year of Soils begin!
Bob Wasson is president of operations at Wasson Nursery located in Muncie just 30 minutes north of Hamilton Town Center on I-69.