Soil, essential to life, brings together the geology, hydrology, biology, and atmosphere of our planet. Our environment, clean freshwater, the plants and the animals around us, most of our infrastructure, and our very existence is dependent on healthy soils. It will serve us well to understand how and why soils do what they do. Cornell Cooperative Extension is your resource for soil information, research, and educational opportunities.
The Big Three: Soil is a dynamic and complex environment, but if you know the texture, soil organic matter, and pH you are well-positioned to manage your soil.
If you want to learn more about the Big Three or other soil information here are some great resources:
A healthy soil supports all life on this planet. Whether your goal is plant productivity, contaminant management, a healthy environment, or all of the above, soil testing can provide information to help. Some important considerations:
A soil test can tell you what nutrients are in your soil, the state of its health, or even if you have contaminants harmful to humans, plants, or the environment. Together with healthy gardening practices, testing can lead to better management as well as safe and productive soils.
Soils can also contain lead or other chemicals that can be harmful to people or plants. Together with healthy gardening practices, testing for contaminants like heavy metals can help you determine the best layout and management plan for your garden.
Talk with your local Extension educator or go directly to DairyOne for more information.
The Cornell Soil Health Laboratory provides a comprehensive assessment of soil health (CASH) as a method to assess the capacity of your soil to sustain productivity and environmental quality as well as promote plant, animal, and human health. Visit the lab for complete information and assistance.
Last updated November 9, 2021