Carbon Sequestration for a Healthy Planet and Soils

Carbon Sequestration for a Healthy Planet and Soils

Carbon Sequestration for a Healthy Planet and Soils

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is more than an ordinary gas. It's the most common form of carbon in the atmosphere and is intrinsically tied to all life on our planet. After all, we are carbon-based lifeforms, chemically defined by the presence of carbon. Everything in our body, from our DNA to our bones, is primarily composed of carbon. The same goes for plants, bugs, bacteria, and all other forms of life on our planet.

As you may know, carbon in the form of CO2 is also an extremely potent greenhouse gas. At only a couple hundred parts per million, it has a potent impact on our climate. Thanks to CO2 and other greenhouse gasses our planet retains heat and doesn't lose its hospitable temperatures to the freezing abyss of space. Unfortunately, human activities are raising the levels of CO2 higher than they've been for millions of years, causing changes in our climate that our civilisation and the natural world are not accustomed to.

Thankfully, a million-year-old solution is hidden beneath our feet – carbon sequestration. Specifically, we are talking about carbon sequestration in our earth's soil. It's a way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere while improving our planet's health and the soils we rely on.

 

Sequestering Carbon In Healthy Soils

Every gardener can recognise good healthy soils. It's soft, dark, and perfectly spongy. What gives good soils much of these physical properties is the fine organic carbon that it holds. Gardeners and farmers managing their soils with regenerative practices also commonly refer to soil carbon simply as "organic matter".

Soil carbon typically originates directly from decomposed plant materials or animal manure. However, it's often added directly to the soil in the form of compost, worm castings, and other organic fertilisers which are largely composed of carbon. Within the soil, carbon has fundamental effects that greatly benefit the health of plants.

 

 Benefits of Carbon In The Soil

+ Promotes a healthy soil food web full of beneficial bacteria, fungi, and insects.

+ Holds nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and all the essentials for vigorous plant growth.

+ Acts as a sponge that holds water and air simultaneously, exactly what plant roots need to thrive.

+ Helps plants to be more resilient to pests, disease, and environmental stress.

    Meanwhile, carbon-rich soils are also helping reduce the impacts of climate change. Instead of having carbon floating around in the atmosphere exacerbating climate change, this carbon is locked up and sequestered exactly where it should be; in the ground. So if you're wondering how you can do your part, improving soil carbon in your garden is a great place to start!

     

    Simple Ways To Sequester Carbon In Your Garden
    + Use compost, worm castings, and other organic fertilisers.
    + Avoid using synthetic fertilisers, pesticides, and other agrochemicals.
    + Consider using minimal-dig/low-till and other regenerative agricultural practices.

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        1 comment
        • Fantastic article. My wife and I have long thought that there had to be a way to get our garden to contribute to a healthier world. Really glad to see this kind of information in existence!

          Taylor on

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