Five Ways You Can Save Our Soils At Home
Soil is essential to life on earth. Its declining health spells trouble for everyone.
But whether you have a farm, garden or window box, we can all do something to help protect it.
Grow your own
In your own back garden or on a shared allotment, growing your own is the most environmentally-friendly way to get your food.
Leaving soil bare is not good for its health; rain can wash away soil nutrients—and even the soil itself. Growing green manures on any bare soil, and growing different vegetable crops in rotation in your garden, will help recycle nutrients back into the soil, with the added benefit of reconnecting you with where your food really comes from.
Simply find out the growing season for your favourite veggies and get started!
Add organic matter
Organic matter is the fraction of soil that originates from plants or animals. It improves soil health by helping it hold onto nutrients and water.
An easy way to boost soil organic matter is to apply compost or grow green manures. These will ‘feed’ your soil with a diversity of nutrients and microorganisms.
Fallen leaves and dead plants will add to soil organic matter too so why not try leaving it a bit longer before sweeping up those leaves or weeding out your wilted annual bulbs? Alternatively, collect leaves and weeds, and compost them ready for next season.
This won't just save your soil, it will save you a job too, so it's a win-win!
Grow soil saving plants
There are plenty of species you can plant in your garden or shared outdoor space that will be beneficial to your soil.
Nitrogen-fixing plants increase the fertility of your soils, while deep-rooting plants stop compaction, promote healthy soil structure and draw up nutrients deeper in the soil for use by other plants. You can see which species we recommend here.
Support soil-friendly organic farming
Help save soil by switching your shopping habits! By choosing organic, your money will be supporting farming methods that put soil health at the core of their business.
Organic farmers do not use artificial fertilisers and pesticides that can harm life in healthy soil. Instead, they nurture their soils to thrive without artificial inputs; looking to natural ecosystems to inform agricultural practices helps maintain healthy soil and protects the delicate balance of life within it. Considering that just one teaspoon of soil can hold more organisms than there are people on the planet we think that’s well worth protecting!
Speak out for soil
Raise awareness of the issue of soil degradation and share these tips with your friends.
If you want to go even further to save soil, support our campaigning work! Thanks to the support of people like you, our policy teams have influenced the Government to acknowledge the vital role of soils and commit to fund soil health monitoring. But there’s always more to be done. Let’s work together to protect our precious soils, for the future of our planet.
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