Know Your Soil: Geology to the Fore with Each Passing Storm Front
By Puck Erickson Lohnas
The sky is grey, a light mist is covering the ground and I hear the earth singing as each molecule of blessed rainfall works its way into the soil, winds between the rock, and trickles become flows. Our vintners celebrate the terroir of their vineyards and the pattern of our spring wildflowers reflects the ground below. Geology gives us the foundational knowledge about our soils, how they were created and what lies beneath them. Now is the time to study your soil to get ready for spring planting.
Do you live on a mesa with a sneaky substrate of clay or caliche that refuses to drain? Or perhaps you are tucked in a valley filled with alluvial gravels that drain like a sieve? The chemical makeup of the soil is important as well. If you have never done a soil test in your garden, you might want to try. Take a sample from your most troublesome spot and send to one of our local labs*. Building the soil leads to improved plant vigor and garden sustainability. Remember as you look at the beautiful peaks and rolling folds of our valley, they share a history with your garden you might want to explore.
*LABORATORIES FOR SOIL TESTING:
Wallace Labs, (310) 615-0116
Fruit Growers Lab, (805) 783-2940
General Soil Science Information:
Marin Master Gardeners: How To Build Healthy Soil