Soil health and why it matters

Soil health is vital to support a healthy vibrant lawn.  When the soil is healthy and in good condition it supports a number of factors which encourage a healthy and attractive lawn:

  • good soil structure is encouraged by diverse organisms and a strong soil food web.. This allows water to infiltrate quickly and be held to support the grass roots – it also allows better flow of air and nutrents which creates an environment that favours aerobic organisms
  • root delve deeper because they are uninhibited by compaction
  • weed pressure is reduced as we can reduce the amount of nitrogen in the soil from synthetic fertilisers.  Weeds thrive in high levels of nitrates
  • the stronger the microbial population in a lawns soil then the healthier the grass plants will be because they help make nutrients more available to the lawns.  it’s a healthy symbiotic relationship.

Traditionally soil quality has been assessed by evaluating  the levels of macronutrients in the soil such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as well as some micronutrients.  But at Greenheart we add a different perspective on soil health.  We want to encourage essential microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes because they sustain important ecological functions in the soil.  In fact these things are probably more important for the natural health of the soil because they support the suppression of pests and diseases, nutrient cycling in the root zone of the lawn plus water retention and general resilience.

When we pay attention to these essential functions then the level of organic matter in the soil makes a big difference to the health of the soil and therefore the lawn.  Organic matter is an essential source of food for the soil’s microbial community.  Our treatments are increasingly moving away from traditional forms of fertilisation towards more more bio-stimulants and increasing soil organic matter and soil health.  This is better for lawns, better for the soil and better for the environment and the natural world.