A Living Soil Sponge

Healthy soil acts like a sponge—it absorbs water and then slowly releases it back into the ground. A soil sponge is made by adding organic matter, such as compost, to your soil and keeping it covered.

Adding compost to soil increases pore space, allowing it to hold more air and water. Compost also provides food to soil microorganisms which helps plants grow and reduces the need for pesticides and fertilizers. Some fertilizers are formulated to release nutrients slowly, giving plants a season-long supply and reducing runoff. Learn more about Clean Water GROW environmentally-friendly plant food.

Bare soil is vulnerable to compaction and erosion. Covering soil with plants or other soft materials, like mulch, protects it from the impact of rain and wind. Applying mulch will also help it absorb water— creating an even better soil sponge!

By building a soil sponge, our soils can help decrease flooding, grow happy plants, and reduce pollution.