Organic Vs. Non-Organic Soil

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Is organic soil better?
Is organic soil better? (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

All soil is composed of organic matter. The terms "organic" and "non-organic" refer to the process and the chemicals used to maintain soil. Conventional, non-organic farming relies on synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and soil amendments to promote growth and discourage disease. Organic soil uses only natural, non-synthetic materials to obtain similar, or better, results.

Considerations

Dozens of scientific studies have been undertaken in the past decade to determine the relative value of organic versus non-organic soil. Scientists examine both the quality of the soil and what is produced using it. Overall, research indicates that organic soil is a better quality soil than conventional soil, producing higher quality and better tasting food.

Soil Quality Indicators

Soil quality is measured by its ability to sustain biological growth, promote plant health and preserve the environment. The presence of organic matter enhances the fertility and water storage of soil. Studies indicate that organic soil, when compared to non-organic soil, has a greater concentration of micro nutrients, higher stress tolerance and increased levels of carbon and nitrogen.

Going Organic

Organic gardening doesn't have to be expensive. You can make your own organic soil with compost from common household garbage, such as orange peels and grass cuttings. In some cases, soap and water can replace expensive pest sprays. Overall, good soil is the best defense against disease and pests.

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