What Makes Soil Key to Gardening Success

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Fri, Oct, 12, 2018 @ 11:10 AM

Did you know that soil is the most important influence on plant growth? Some of the key soil functions include: physical support for plants, the source of nutrients and water for plant growth and, food and biomass production. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that  95% of our food production depends on soil. To help put that all into perspective, we interviewed soil expert, Cristina da Silva on Corona’s Green Industry Leaders Network, #plantchat podcast series.

IMG_0516In addition, nutrient recycling; carbon sequestration including CO2; and the filtration/purification of water are all accomplished by the world’s soils. Soil is a biological habitat for microorganisms and a source of antibiotics and pharmaceuticals now and for the future. 

On this episode, Cristina Da Silva, owner of Soil Groundwork, an online resource for information on soil, and founder of #Groundchat on Twitter. Cristina draws from a deep well of knowledge and experience, with both a BS and an MS in Horticulture plus a Residential Garden Design certificate. She has scientific papers in the Plant Physiology Journal and more 100 garden/gardening magazine articles plus a gardening column for a major national newspaper. In addition to being a professional horticulturist and designer, she adds that she is a “real gardener” and her 30-year career includes running a garden design/maintenance firm.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Cristina in this GILN podcast episode, to find out her best tips for working with your garden soil. 


Key discussion points in this #Plantchat podcast include:

  • Why is soil important?
  • Explain the “Big Picture“ for soil
  • What does pH mean?
  • What is the best way to test and get to know your own soil?
  • What is soil texture?
  • What is soil structure?
  • How does tilling affect garden soil?
  • What are the Top 3 Common Myths about soil?
  • What are the best ways to prevent and correct compacted soil?
  • Are there specialized plants for “problem soils” like sand, clay, acidic, alkaline, wet or dry?
  • What are some alternatives to dealing with poor soil?
  • What is the single most important Soil Tip?

Listen Now, Chat Later

GILN Social Media IconSince 2010, Corona along with its industry partners have hosted tree-related topics via Twitter.  Our podcast format gives chat participants an opportunity to hear the chat take place, and then connect live with the host and guests. It's an opportunity to ask questions about the podcast, the general topic discussed or get more information on something that was shared.

Download and subscribe to the Green Industry Leaders Network podcast on Simplecast, iTunes or Google Play. Be sure to connect with Corona Tools and share your thoughts on this podcast. 

Join Us Live via Twitter

The live discussion takes place on 10/16/18 at 11AM PT/ 2PM ET. To join the discussion, log on to Twitter and search for #plantchat. If you are using Twitter, be sure to select "Latest" at the top to see the latest tweets.

So listen to the podcast while you garden, or as you commute to the office, then join us for the live chat. And please share the good news on your favorite social networks too!


Be sure to connect with both our guest and with us on all our websites and social media networks. Connect with Chris at Corona Tools on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Connect with Cristina da Silva on social networks on Twitter and Facebook.

Topics: #Plantchat, soil biology, soil

Soil Biology is Key to Healthy Plants in the Garden

Posted by Chris Sabbarese on Sun, Jul, 13, 2014 @ 14:07 PM

Soil productivity is a function of soil biology and the activities of soil organisms. Living in the soil are plant roots, bacteria, fungi, viruses, algae, protozoa, mites, nematodes, earthworms, ants, maggots and other insects and insect larvae (grubs), plus larger animals. In fact, the volume of living organisms below ground is often far greater than that above ground. These organisms are responsible for the decay of organic matter and cycling of both macro- and micro-nutrients back into forms that plants can use. 

Soil Food Web 7 14 14 resized 600

 This week chat about Soil Biology as the key to plant health on #plantchat!

You're Invited to Tweet 

Join @CoronaTools and #plantchat co-partner, Aaron Kinsman, of Rodale Institute @RodaleInstitute for this week's topic, Soil Biology is Key to Healthy Plants in the Garden. The live chat begins Monday, July 14, 2014 at 11 a.m. PST / 2 p.m. EST, were we come together with green industry experts and fellow horticultural tweeps each week to discuss all things related to plants and horticulture, since 2014.

Discussion Overview 

Compost - Learn how you can use quality compost for most soil health problems, instead of buying chemicals.

Healthy Soil = Understand why Healthy Plants = Healthy People

Avoid Dead Soil - Discover how widely used synthetic chemicals kill soil microbiology, promoting erosion and chemical run-off.

Ubiquitous Chemicals - Hear why those same chemicals are also toxic to humans, and are found in breast milk and umbilical blood.

Photosynthesis Discuss how it fights climate change, turning C to O2 – plants are of no use to humans if we are not around to eat them.

Tips and Resources - Get the latest tips and information from the Rodale Institute for achieve growing success and healthy, living soil. 

Join the Conversation

Plantchat logo on Corona Tools

Don’t miss out on this exciting topic and join the conversation via Twitter. Just sign into #plantchat with your Twitter ID and you can follow the conversation and share with the community. Be sure to add the hastag to all your tweets or join us in the plantchat room on Tweetchat.  They will automatically add it for you and it's easy to watch the conversation as it happens!

If you do miss the live event, you can still access the Storify recap, accessible 24/7 that will be posted following the live chat. The transcript includes all the information and links shared during the discussion. 

About Plantchat

Connect and share with the green industry leaders live on Twitter and 24/7 to learn and share about hot topics in the green industry. Now plantchat is part of the Green Industry Leaders Network (GILN) presented by Corona and its partners.  We are an alliance of professional organizations who are advancing the horticulture, tree care, and landscaping industries.  Register now to get weekly updates of upcoming chats, links to transcripts, chat reminders and more!  Register now on the GILN website!

Topics: #Plantchat, soil biology, plant health

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