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University of California
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Celebrate Healthy Soils Week with free events Dec. 5-9

California Healthy Soils Week highlights the benefits of soil health and biodiversity. Photo by Larry Costello

California Healthy Soils Week 2022 kicks off Dec. 5 on United Nations' World Soil Day. UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is joining the California Department of Food and Agriculture and other organizations in highlighting the benefits of soil health and biodiversity.

During the week of Dec. 5-9, CDFA will present a biodiversity webinar, the UC Master Gardener Program will host two Facebook LIVE webinars and UC Cooperative Extension will co-host a Sustainable Nutrient Management & Soil Health Field Day in Salinas. Details about the free events are below.

Monday, Dec. 5 at 10 a.m.
WEBINAR: Building Belowground Biodiversity CDFA Secretary Karen Ross and members of the Belowground Biodiversity Advisory Committee – composed of world-renowned scientists – discuss how soil biodiversity may impact soil health. The BBAC is tasked with preparing a report of their recommendations on biodiversity indicators as a proxy of soil health and ecosystem functions. This webinar will discuss the importance and impact of belowground biodiversity on soil health and presenters will also share some of their research findings. Register at

Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. 
Healthy Soil: In nature sometimes less is more. Understanding the nature and composition of soil is the first step in our understanding of how to achieve sustainable, healthy soil in our gardens. Mike Corby, UC Master Gardener volunteer in Contra Costa County, will give tips for improving soil health in the garden. To join this 30-minute UC Master Gardener Program LIVE on Facebook, go to on Dec. 6 at 10 a.m. No registration is required. A recording of the webinar is published on YouTube at  

Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m.
Harnessing the Magic of the Soil Food Web: Turning Dirt into Gold. Soil is the foundation for life providing habitat, recycling wastes and toxins, providing structural and nutritional support for plants. Over the past 150 years, more industrial practices have replaced natural methods that degrade soil structure and degrade populations of soil organisms, weakening the natural control of soil borne diseases and pests. This has contributed to a reliance on the use of chemical fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides. These chemicals not only affect the soil, but the biodiversity of organisms that rely on the soil and the plants that grow in it. Nurturing soil is one of the best things you can do as a gardener. Plants thrive in soil that is teeming with life.

Kit Veerkamp, UC Master Gardener volunteer in El Dorado County, will discuss why this really matters and how to modify your soils to improve plant health and reduce disease and pests. To join this 30-minute UC Master Gardener Program LIVE on Facebook, go to Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. No registration is required. A recording of the webinar is published on YouTube at

Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 11 a.m.

Web Soil Survey Presentation: Hosted by California Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Web Soil Survey provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95% of the nation's counties. Moderated and presented by Phil Smith, California NRCS area resource soil scientist, and Tony Rolfes, California state soil scientist. This is a presentation on Web Soil Survey and other soil web tools for gathering soils information and maps. Register here

Friday, Dec. 9, at 9 a.m.

Sustainable Nutrient Management & Soil Health Field Day will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Agricultural Center Conference Room at 1432 Abbott St. in Salinas.

Presentations will include

  • Climate-smart nutrient management for cool-season vegetable crop production by Cole Smith, UC Cooperative Extension staff research associate.
  • Co-composted biochar application in intensive vegetable rotation: On-farm trial review by Laura Murphy and Sacha Lozano, Monterey and Santa Cruz Resource Conservation Districts
  • Latest developments in measuring soil health: The 4 most responsive indicators by Meagan Hynes, California State University - Monterey Bay
  • Healthy soil incentives and Ag. Order 4.0 requirements by Monica Barricarte and Claire Bjork, Central Coast Water Board
  • Avenues for improving nitrogen cycling in vegetable production by Richard Smith, UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops advisor
  • In-field soil health assessment & compost spreader calibration by Jessica Chiartas, UC Davis

Five Certified Crop Adviser nutrient management continuing-education credits have been requested for attending the Sustainable Nutrient Management & Soil Health Field Day. To register or for more information, visit

Visit the Healthy Soils Week website to see the full lineup of events and partners. To find more healthy soils information on social media, look for the hashtags #SoilHealth and #HSW2022. 

Posted on Friday, December 2, 2022 at 2:17 PM
Tags: Healthy soils (1), Soil (23)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

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