Healthy soil is the foundation of a healthy garden. Soil tilth will determine whether your plants grow or fail, and the quality of the plants and produce grown. Nutritious soil is teeming with micro-organisms that atomize organic matter, reinforce the growth of plants, and allow the nutrients to be accessible by the plant itself. A soil that is lacking in nutrients has very little organic compounds, minute structure, and an inadequate amount of the right types of microorganisms to encourage plant growth. To have a sustainable garden that has an abundance of nutrient-rich crops, first make sure you have healthy soil.


What is Healthy Soil?

Soil is so much more than dirt. Soil is a living ecosystem—a large community of living organisms linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Every teaspoon of soil is home to billions of microorganisms—bacteria, fungi, nematodes, insects, and earthworms that play important roles [1]. Each of these factors plays a crucial role in breaking down organic matter, providing nutrients, and supporting the growth of your plants. Soil that is rich in organic matter tends to be darker and crumbles off of the roots of plants you pull up [2]. Plants that grow in a healthy soil grow quickly and contain deep roots that will hold the soil in place. Soil that is lacking the nutrients and organisms that are needed will have few organic compounds, poor structure, and very few microorganisms to aid the plants growth.


How to Create a Healthy Soil in Your Garden

A healthy soil ecosystem provides plants with easy access to air, water, and nutrients. Some tips for creating a healthy soil are adding organic matter, cover crops, rotating crops to diversify the soil, incorporating beneficial organisms, and combining nutrient-rich amendments. Compost is a beneficial way to implement nutrients and healthy microbes to your soil. Cover crops are often introduced as a way to improve the health of your soil. Continuing to rotate your cover crops is a great way to implement organic matter to your soil and is also beneficial for reducing weeds and disease in your crops. Implementing beneficial organisms such as beans and peas in your garden will provide a great source of nitrogen which is one of the most crucial nutrients needed for growing plants.[3Another way to create a healthy soil is to combine nutrient-rich amendments. Adding compost, aged manure, and fish meal are just a few of many amendments that can add nutrients and boost microbial activity in your soil.


Taking Action

Not sure where to start? Add some organic matter and biostimulants to your lawn with Gnome's Organic soil conditioner Liquid Lush. It works year round on all grass types in every US state. Gnome's Soil Test Kit is also a great place to start! Learn what your lawn needs by identifying deficiencies in your soil across every macro and micronutrient! Our experts will send you detailed analysis on your soil condition and recommend products tailored to your lawn's unique nutrient needs.



[1] University of Minnesota Extension - "Living Soil, Healthy Garden":
[2] Garden Kellogg Products - "How to Tell if Soil is Good with 8 Simple Tests":,a%20sign%20of %20good%20soil
[3] University of Minnesota Extension - "Living Soil, Healthy Garden":
Allison Morris
Tagged: Lawn Care 101