Soils rich in organic matter grow tasty vegetables and fruits, colorful flowers and strong trees and shrubs. This is because the organic matter gives the soil a dense plant covering to keep it from being washed away by rains.

Organic soil amendments, like composted sawdust and straw, bind soil particles together. This also helps to prevent erosion by allowing more rain to infiltrate the soil and lessen the run-off into streams and streets. The soil stays moist, which conserves more water in hot, dry weather. Organic gardening helps soil both hold in nutrients and break down pollutants travelling through the soil profile. Keeping pollutants out of water helps protect fish and other creatures. It also improves our own health and recreation opportunities.

Organic soil amendments work together with tiny creatures living in the soil, soil fungus and familiar garden inhabitants like beetles and worms to expand root systems. This brings in food and water from a much larger area than a plant could alone – anywhere from 10 to 100 times the area.

Expanding the root system also helps protect soil from diseases and binds soil particles together which increases drainage and air spaces. Watch the video to learn more about how organic gardening can benefit you and the environment.