August 7, 2018, I had the great pleasure and privilege to speak at our International Society of Arboriculture annual conference. This year it was held in Columbus (affectionately called CBus), Ohio. The Greater Ohio Convention Center was familiar to me as the TCI EXPO 2017 (Tree Care Industry) was also held there.
The presentation I gave was Creating Healthy Soil in Residential Settings in which I introduce characteristics of healthy soil, how healthy soil is created and how we can enhance those qualities in our landscapes. This topic is near and dear to me as I have felt too many succumb to artificial and synthetic management of our residential soils to the detriment of the soil organisms and sustainability of the natural ecosystem. This talk has been well received, which thrills me. After all, you never know if there are kindred spirits out there. But there are. Many arborists and homeowners are very interested in learning how to promote and enhance the natural ecosystem.
Using my own property as a case study, I point out how you can go from a “barren” landscape to a vibrant, species-diverse one without synthetic fertilizers by “simply” enhancing the habitat. Key components are adding organic matter, getting living roots into the soil, and watering appropriately.
Most of our property is left natural but we enhanced the area close to the residence to give us our oasis of greenery while also producing a mecca for birds and wildlife. Although, I finally said enough to the deer deprivation and my husband built the 6 foot fence. In one season the volunteer growth, of which I have referred to in another blog, has blossomed, so to speak.
My message? Enhance the habitat and let the organisms in the soil do their job.