Five Steps to Building Soil

Five Steps to Building Soil

Best management practices (BMPs) during construction

1.  Retain and protect native topsoil and vegetation where practical.

2.  Restore distrubed soils to restore healthy functions by

    a.  Stockpiling and reusing good quality site soil, or

    b.  Tilling 2 to 3 inches of compost into poor site soils, or

    c.  Bringing in 8 inches of compost amended topsoil

3.   Loosen compacted subsoil, if needed, by ripping to 12-inch depth.

4.  Mulch landscape beds after planting.

5.  Protect restored soils from erosion or recompation by heavy equipment.


Taken from the March 2008, BioCycle Magazine, David McDonald and Kris Beatty

David McDonald is a Resource Conservation Planner for Seattle Public Utilities.  Kris Beatty is a Program Manager for King County Solid Waste Division.  This article draws on the work of the Soils for Salmon Project over the last 10 years.