Soil Myth Busting for Extension Educators: Reviewing the Literature on Soil Nutrition
Abstract, Journal of the NACAA, 2020
There is a robust literature, spanning many decades, on managing soil for agricultural crop production. Conversely, the field of urban horticulture is relatively young and literature regarding soil nutrient management in nonagricultural situations is comparatively sparse, though rapidly expanding. What is often eye-opening for gardeners and extension educators alike is the realization that soil nutrient management for a monocultural annual crop is dramatically different from what is needed for home gardens and ornamental landscapes (Figures 1a-c). One of the chief differences among these systems is that agricultural crop growth is optimized for maximum yield, which is not necessarily the primary goal in a home garden and certainly not a goal at all in an ornamental landscape. Instead, a primary goal in both of the latter systems is to maximize plant and soil health in an aesthetically pleasing manner.