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Soil management

View of soil horizons in landscape showing top layer of peat mixing with lower layers of stone

As permaculture designers we need to be designing rich, healthy, living soil. Geoff Lawton has described permaculture as "ethical design science", and we need to ethically and scientifically design our soil. A design for good soil should be a key part of all permaculture growing projects.

Soil is the most complicated living system we know of. As growers we do not need to fully understand it, but we do need to know how to support soil life, soil structure and soil nutrients. Just by looking at soil, smelling it and feeling it, you can see that living, healthy soil looks very different to dead soil.

On these pages we consider a number of different aspects of soil management, and explain the basics. As ever, plenty of good books, videos and sources of support are included so you can find the information and 'how to' guides that are right for you.


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This category, and the pages within it, were created as part of our collaborative work within the GROW Observatory, which received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 690199.




Photo: Shannon McGee on Flickr, shared under CC-BY-SA licence

Earthworm in soil
Photo: nrcs south dakota on Flickr. Shared under CC BY-SA license.