What does it mean for a soil to be “healthy”?

healthy-soil
Photo: Colette Kessler, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, South Dakota

Question: I keep hearing the terms “healthy soil” and “soil health.” What does it mean for a soil to be healthy? Does it just mean the soil is free from pollutants?

Answer: Soil health is a difficult concept to describe because unlike our human bodies where blood pressure and body temperature can tell a doctor a lot about our health, there are no comparably simple tests to perform that will tell us if a soil is “healthy.”

The pursuit of soil health used to focus simply on lessening soil compaction or increasing fertility (nutrient levels). But the concept has evolved in recent years and gotten more complex.

–Answered by Gary “Pete” Peterson, Colorado State University

2 thoughts on “What does it mean for a soil to be “healthy”?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s