Soil degradation is an old issue that is becoming bigger with every passing year. And it is not a process that started few years ago, it is a process that goes back through our history. There are few things that can be classified as degradation in quality of the soil. Decline in biological, chemical and physical properties are things that determine the loss of the quality of the soil. Transport of the soil from its original place and erosion are both also considered as factors of soil degradation.

   Erosion makes soil move, away, and this causes in fewer layers of soil on certain place. Not every bit of land around you is good for growing, and soil on top may be good, but soil from few feet under is not. But I want to focus on other forms of soil degradation, decline in properties of the soil is what I want to discuss.

   First you should understand what leads to soil degradation considering the theme we are discussing. Well the removal of plants, and constant ploughing and over-grazing are some of the factors that cause soil degradation. Let me explain. Plants protect soil from other elements and prevents large loss of carbon in the soil. Remove plants and there is nothing to stop that loss. Constant ploughing that loss makes bigger. And by removing layer of plants from the soil their roots are removed too, so their purpose as organic food for the enrichment of the soil disappears.

     So the loss of carbon is the major factor of soil degradation. In this time 2 percent of carbon in a soil is deemed enough and that is the bottom line after which soil degradation ensues. Some claimed that Australia always had a bad soil with low levels of carbon. But in research it was discovered that once their soil had up to 37 percent of carbon. With that and few other facts we can say that soil degradation in Australia began with first white man.

   That is a fact, but I don’t have time to talk lengthy about that because I want to tell you about recovery of the land that is degraded to the point that it has under 10 percent of carbon. There are a lot of articles written about soil healing, you can search for specific information by reading some works from Vladislav Davidzon or some other permaculturists. I say permaculturists because they are already doing soil recovery within their permaculture systems, and their principles can be used in soil recovery on bigger surfaces. You can also join this movement by getting permaculture design certificate.

   Well the main reason for carbon loss and soil degradation is removal of plant life, so it is logical that the first move is to grow plants on that soil. Plants that won’t be pulled out every half of a year. Then as it is done in permaculture systems mulch is the next step. Mulch is used to give plants nutrients through the soil, so by doing this soil receives things it lacked. There are few other techniques that can be used for soil recovery and one that is as natural as first technique is grazing fields on soil that is degraded.

Comments are closed.