Soil health lesson in a minute: soil smell

We all know the soil is the engine of the
farm’s productivity. But do you know how well your soil is functioning? While you’re giving it a check-up with this,
you can use this as well. Ah, that’s what healthy soil should smell
like. It has the aroma of actinobacteria – that
smell of geosmin – that one-of-a-kind sweet smell. Eww. If your soil smells sour, metallic, like kitchen
cleanser – that may be a good indicator that your soil’s not functioning well, that
your soil biology is out of balance. So go ahead. Dig it up and give it a sniff. It only takes a minute. If you dig a little, you can learn a lot.

7 thoughts on “Soil health lesson in a minute: soil smell

  1. Hi. I have a dark rich moist compost + soil mix I've let sit over winter under plastic and while it looks wonderful and has a nice texture, it has no smell whatsoever. Not sour or sweet. Nothing.

    Is that an indication of anything (or lack thereof)? Would you plant into a soil that has no smell at all?



  2. Holy crap. I would run away fast if my soil smelled like "kitchen cleanser"

    Great video! Can't wait to dig up some of my garden dirt and give it a big sniff!


  3. Grazing animals is a great way to build healthy soil. Check out our system for a better idea on how we approach soil health.

  4. my bag of Tomorite soil has been wrapped up for months, now i notice it smells like a drain, but ive had to use it to repot
    my mary jane plants, hopefully the plants clean the soil of this smell.

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