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Native soils

Billions of organisms live in a teaspoon of healthy soil. Imagine what's in your yard! Together these organisms bind soil particles, gather nutrients and water for plant roots, churn soil particles to create spaces in the soil for air and water and break down leaves and other plant material.

Native soils and healthy, improved soils provide:

  • Numerous air and water pockets
  • An abundance of micro- and macro-organisms
  • Opportunity for deep plant root growth
  • High evapotranspiration and surface water infiltration and detention
  • Reduced surface water runoff and erosion

Disturbed soils

Typical construction practices in the Northwest remove two to three feet of native topsoil, replacing it with only a few inches of soil and sod. The subsoil underneath is often so compacted that plants must struggle to survive. This often results in:

  • Limited air and water pockets
  • Few micro- and macro-organisms
  • Shallow root growth
  • Low evapotranspiration and surface water detention and infiltration
Native Soils (PDF - 60 K)
Learn what native soils Download PDF 60 K should look like.
Disturbed soils (PDF - 58 K)
Learn what disturbed soils Download PDF 58 K typically look like.
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