eGuide to a WaterSmart Lifestyle

© SDCWA 2013

WaterSmart is where our San Diego lifestyle and water efficiency meet. Each step you take has the potential to enhance your lifestyle, increase the value of your home, save money and inspire a neighbor to do the same.

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Page 82 of 139

Ideas Healthy soil is a beautiful thing. It's the color of dark chocolate, soft as a pillow, and its earthy scent elicits what must be an instinctive response – to dive in up to your elbows and then plant a garden. Grab a handful of healthy soil and what you have is a collection of minerals, organic matter and open space. Healthy soil is about 50 percent open space and works like a sponge, absorbing water and oxygen for growing roots and the microorganisms and critters that turn organic matter into nutrients. Nitrogen is essential to the growth of stems and leaves Phosphorous spurs root growth Potassium bolsters a plant's immune system and overall growth Additional nutrients include calcium, magnesium, molybdenum and zinc Healthy soil also limits stormwater running off of your property and washing pollutants into storm drains and creeks. The soil absorbs the stormwater, plant roots filter out pollutants such as nitrogen and phosphorous, and the water recharges the groundwater basin below. Mother Nature makes soil like this in the forest, where the droppings from trees and plants become a layer of mulch that decomposes into organic matter year after year. Farmers and urban gardeners, however, have to make their own. It's a three-step process. First, you get to know your soil. Then you mix in compost and cover it with mulch. 83

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