Archive | Soil Health

Ground Rules: Soil Health in the Urban Landscape

by Chuck Sherzi, Jr. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nature never hurries….” The same, I might add, holds true for the soil. Since I can remember, I have always been fascinated by soil. It was an interest that motivated me to study plant and soil science at the University of Massachusetts and later on to […]

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Mulch Composition and Potential Benefits

by David Ropes What more can be said about the benefits of mulch in the developed landscape? In her wonderful 2007 article “Impacts of Mulches on Landscape Plants and the Environment – A Review,” Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott from the University of Washington lays it all out, citing relevant data from 145 different sources to validate […]

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Report from Soil Biology School

by John Rice One of the things I love about winter is that I get to meet with scientists, professors, and researchers and learn more about the ever-changing landscaping world. To use the tools, the microscopes, etc. that they have and to see the microscopic world is just fascinating. (more…)

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Eco-Answers from the Pros: Sustainable Soil Mix

I am a landscape designer with a maintenance crew working on Martha’s Vineyard. We are reviewing our Specifications to update to sustainable practice. I have previously specified for soils to be used for backfilling plants and filling perennial beds a mix of Earthlife Compost (3 parts), peat moss (2 parts), and sand (1 part). Is […]

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Humic Substances: Markers of a Healthy Soil

by Dr. Elham A. Ghabbour and Dr. Geoffrey Davies Natural landscaping depends to a large extent on healthy soil. In this context ‘healthy’ means that the soil is carbon- and nutrient-rich and that it retains water but drains well. It’s important to know that soil carbon consists of two main pools, one of which is […]

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