Living Soils – Water Absorption Capability

Here is a very crude demonstration of how 2 different types of soil structures respond to downpour.

Sample I is a humus rich annual vegetable garden bed. It is a no till bed. The video was recorded just before we added mulch to the bed. It resembles with a mature forest floor rich in organic matter.

Sample II is a pathway between the beds. It had topsoil removed & is compacted because of regular foot traffic. It resembles a piece of land with topsoil eroded.

Sample I

It is evident that the soil is acting like a sponge. No water run-off.

Sample II

No water absorption. Water runoff is evident.

Conclusion

Sample I, rich in humus & organic matter, has better water absorption capacity. The soils with this kind of structure provide multiple benefits.

  1. It can store large amount of water. Also, helps recharge acquifers.
  2. Minimal water evaporation & better moisture retention capability reduce irrigation needs.
  3. The organic matter & porosity provide more surface area, food, moisture & needed aeration for beneficial microbes & earthworms. It is like a 5-star hotel for the life below.
  4. Plant roots find it easier to go deeper to absorb nutrients and minerals.

Look out for this space to find out how we created our annual garden beds.

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