Are there soil microbes under my fingernails?

If you’ve been gardening without gloves lately, then the answer is probably “yes.” But that is, for the most part, a good thing – besides having to clean your hands! In garden soil there are millions to billions of microorganisms, or microbes. They could be bacteria, fungi, viruses, and archaea. Baseline estimates suggest that there … Continue reading Are there soil microbes under my fingernails?

What happens to soil in winter? Does everything die?

Soil is essential to life. One reason is that soil protects plant roots, animals, and microbes from freezing in the winter. As air temperatures drop below 320F (00C), water within the top layers of the soil will eventually freeze. This is commonly known as the frost layer. So, while you think that once the ground … Continue reading What happens to soil in winter? Does everything die?

Is “potting soil” the same as the soil in my yard? Are both equally okay to use indoors?

Simply, no. The soil in your backyard is most likely a dynamic mixture of sand, silt and clay – depending on where you live. Most potting soils sold at garden stores aren’t ‘soils’ at all, but a mix of ingredients. Together, these ingredients can smooth the road to good plant growth. (Topsoil sold at garden … Continue reading Is “potting soil” the same as the soil in my yard? Are both equally okay to use indoors?

What does soil health have to do with my health?

The nutrients you get from eating vegetables comes from soil! Credit: Mary Beth Adams Healthy humans indeed need healthy soils! Healthy soils grow healthy, nutrient-rich foods. The calcium in your broccoli comes directly from soil. Wheat kernels contain protein that the wheat plant made with nitrogen present in soils. If the soil is deficient in … Continue reading What does soil health have to do with my health?