Gardeners' Guild Inc.
The Guild ReportRebuilding Soil
August 2010 
In This Issue
Point of View
What Makes Healthy Soil
Organic Soil Building in Action
hand in dirt

Point of View
With Employee Owner
Randy Yancy

Randy Yancy Ops Mgr

"Nature has given us the most beautiful landscapes in the world.  It all starts with soil - it should be alive and breathing.  But once it is disturbed - the beneficial organisms and the make up of the soil are negatively impacted" " Most important - feed the soil, and it will feed the plant."

Randy has been with Gardeners' Guild since 1998.  He is an Operations Manager and has successfully managed some of our most complex sites.  He is Landscape Industry and Bay Friendly Certified.

See the video on our Sustainable Program!



We tend to take soil for granted.  It seems to be everywhere.  But in reality, only a small percentage of our planet has soil that is suitable for sustaining high levels of plant life.

We all appreciate beautiful plants and depend on fruits and vegetables to keep our bodies healthy.  This is what sustains us and it is critical that we do what we can to preserve these resources so they continue to produce for generations to come.    It is why we are devoting this issue to soil.

All the best,
Suzanne Harris
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What Makes Soil Healthy

In healthy soil, there exists an ecosystem comparable to a jungle in its diversity, productivity, and health. It is a complex structure of interdependent and mutually beneficial organisms.  As a matter of fact, a teaspoon of good garden soil is teaming with 20,000 to 30,000 different species or organisms.  This diversity helps plants to ward off diseases. 

Healthy soil also contains a fungi that establishes a symbiotic relationship with plant roots called mycorrhizae.  This relationship enables the delivery of water, phosphorus and other necessary plant nutrients.  When this soil food web population is not in balance plants can suffer.

Mycorrhizae on Pine
mycorrhizal relationship
Factors that degrade soil include conventional construction practices and heavy use of synthetic or chemical products.  The spaces between soil particles normally available for air and water can shrink. And, if not restored, a plant's access to nutrients is suppressed.

The solution - to feed our soil with the right organic products and instituting specific cultural practices.  Researchers have developed an array of certified organic products that when skillfully applied on a regular basis will gradually reverse this damage and return the soil to its natural state.

Read the case study below:

Organic Soil Building in Action

We recently took on a project at the renowned St. Mary's College in Moraga.  They hired us to assist them in transitioning their landscape to a more sustainable approach.

Our program incorporates the usage of certified organic products in two large turf areas; an athletic field and a large area surrounding the campus residence hall .

The strategy consists of introducing beneficial organisms and implementing cultural practices that work to restore the soil.  This results in increased plant vigor, disease resistance and enhanced drought tolerance.  We use the following products.
See the Gardeners' Guild website for more information about our program. we
Soil Inoculant Application