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Resources for Managing Soil Health in Your Own Backyard

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

Understanding soil health and managing for healthy soils is critical no matter what size your lawn, yard, or garden. Taking care of your backyard and neighborhood soils benefits prevents erosion, benefits water quality, prevents disease, and much more. But what can you do in your community and in your backyard to build a healthier, more resilient landscape?

On December 3rd, as part of our World Soil Day celebration, the Virginia Soil Health Coalition and 4 The Soil Awareness Initiative hosted a panel discussion with experts from Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation District, Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professionals, and VA Master Gardeners on the importance of managing soils in urban and suburban settings.. Panelists included:

  • Thomas Bolles, Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Virginia Cooperative Extension

  • Shereen Hughes, Assistant Director, Wetlands Watch and Virginia Coordinator, Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Program

  • Kevin McLean, VCAP Coordinator, Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

  • Duane Mohr, Conservation Technician, Prince William Soil and Water Conservation District

  • Larry Newman, Master Gardener, Chesterfield County

Panelists discussed the importance of testing your soil, planting natives when possible, preventing compaction and erosion, and much more.

Miss the panel discussion or want to watch it again? Watch the recording below:

Check out some of the resources shared by our panelists related to managing backyard and garden soils:

Connect with your local Master Gardeners through Virginia Cooperative Extension

Eight Essential Elements of Conservation Landscaping from the Chesapeake Landscape Conservation Council

The Virginia Conservation Assistance Program from the Virginia Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts

Information on native plants in Virginia from Plant Virginia Natives Marketing Partnership

The Natural Communities of Virginia Classification of Ecological Groups and Community Types from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation

Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora

Information on Bay Restoration Practices from the Chesapeake Stormwater Network

Chesterfield County Grass Roots Program for a healthier lawn

Are you “4 The Soil”? Take the pledge to share your support of soil health and stay up to date on all things healthy soils in Virginia!
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