05 December 2021

World Soil Day

World Soil Day, held annually on the 5th of December, focuses on the importance of healthy soil and soil sustainability management.

With this important day in mind, Plantscape has put together some helpful information to help you take care of your soil.

Improving your soil

A healthy soil that is in good physical condition can be identified by a loose and easy to work form which is mainly due to its’ good water-holding capabilities. Soil should have good aeration and drainage to maintain the right amount of water it requires. One of the most popular ways to improve the quality of the soil is to mix it with compost. This allows the soil to be easier to work with and supplies plants with various beneficial chemical elements.

Fertilising your soil provides the ground with everything a plant will need to grow healthily. Composts can contain nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, which will help improve soils that are very acidic or alkaline.

World Soil Day
World Soil Day

Soil acidity

The acidity of soil can have an impact on the plants, an acidic or sour soil is best for growing vegetables as it contains a low pH level. This can be changed by applying lime into the soil through a specially designed fertiliser or by mixing in lime powder.

To determine your soil’s acidity, you can test it with a simple pH test to decide what treatment your soil requires.

Top Five Soil Facts

  • Healthy soil has six different layers, known as horizons.
  • A small amount of soil can harbour up to ten billion organisms.
  • 95% of food production relies on the quality of the soil.
  • Soil contains more carbon than the atmosphere.
  • Soil is home to 25% of the Earth’s biodiversity.

This year’s World Soil Day theme is ‘Keep soil alive, protect soil biodiversity’ which aims to raise awareness of the importance of sustaining healthy ecosystems and human well-being. If we do not act soon, the fertility of soil will continue to be adversely affected at an alarming rate, threatening global food supplies and food safety. Find out more about how to support World Soil Day here.