Keeping the soil covered with organic materials and disturb it as little as possible are two of the main principles for soil health . They help prevent erosion that sweeps away our topsoil, keep the soil temperature nice and cozy for plants and microbes, retain moisture, build soil organic matter by feeding the microbes, preserve soil structure, and keep those pesky weeds away. Phew, that is a long list of benefits. Let's see what those practices are.
1. USDA NRCS. "Soil Health." Soil Health | NRCS North Dakota, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/nd/soils/health/. 2. Clark, Andy. "10 Ways Cover Crops Enhance Soil Health." SARE, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, 4 Aug. 2020, www.sare.org/publications/cover-crops/ecosystem-services/10-ways-cover-crops-enhance-soil-health/. 3. Fuhrer, Jay. "Minimizing Soil Disturbance." Soil Health: Principle 2 of 5 – Minimizing Soil Disturbance | NRCS North Dakota, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/nd/soils/health/?cid=nrcseprd1300910. 4. Soil Association. "Why Are Hedgerows so Important?" Soil Association, Soil Association, www.soilassociation.org/take-action/protect-the-environment/why-are-hedgerows-so-important/#soils.