Soil vs Dirt

Soil vs Dirt

Have you ever thought about the difference between soil and dirt? Or, is there even a difference? The answer is a most definite yes! Soil is basis of life on earth, sometimes called the skin of the earth. Plants rely on soil to grow and we depend on plants to live. Needless to say, soil is important.

Soil is made up of billions of microorganisms that include bacteria and fungi. It has an ecosystem vastly unseen to our eyes and, under a microscope, shows complex life that most never even thought possible. All nutrients that plants need exist in soil and when we learn to balance the soil in our own gardens and farms, great things happen.

So, what is dirt? It is the stuff we get under our fingernails or our clothes when we work outside. It lacks organic material and will consist of sand, rocks, clay, and additional non-organic materials. Dirt is a great foundation for construction projects and to fill in holes around the yard but not great for gardens. Dirt usually exists under soil, in most cases. 

How do I know if I have healthy soil or dirt? The answer is pretty simple, in most cases. The life of your particular area will tell you what you have and how healthy the soil is. What grows easily in that area? Do you have to constantly add fertilizers? Do weeds or pests take over at times? What thrives there? Even if you are unsure of how healthy your soil is, there are simple things you can do to add to the health of your soil. 

Consider trying 1 or all of these tips to improve the life of your soil:

  • Have your soil tested to see what is lacking and go to a trusted garden center for the correct inputs to apply.
  • Learn to make your own compost. There are many ways to do this and step-by-step tutorials to learn from.
  • Add wood chips, or a woody material, all over your garden area.

Simple steps can change the success of your gardening experience. Feel free to reach out to if you have questions or need any tips.

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