Category Archives: soil

understanding soil as a living organism

Nitrogen Fixers


At the root of this fava bean plant are nitrogen nodules. This plant along with the peas, Barley, and fetch that are also growing behind me take nitrogen out of the air and fix it to the roots. 2 months ago this hillside was full of weeds. We dug 2 shovels deep into the soil, turned it and then put a mixture of premium soil builder cover crop. Continue reading Nitrogen Fixers


Chip Osborne + Organic turf

ChipPhotoTurfBlogIn our research on Earth Friendly Management, a name that kept coming up was one of the first people in the country to implement organic lawn care on an institutional basis – Chip Osborne from Marblehead, MA. The City of Marblehead was a pioneer in non-pesticide lawn management. This started in 1998, and Chip implemented the plan there. He knows a tremendous amount. You can learn more about his background from his website. Please take a look at The City of Malibu decided it could benefit greatly from a workshop from him. The Department of Parks & Recreation provided the space for a workshop that Chip gave on January 28 and 29 – Malibu Civic Center, 23825 Stuart Ranch Road, Malibu.  All were welcome.

Malibu Parks and Rec. director Bob Stallings and manager Drew also hired Chip to do a soils assessment of bluffs park, trancas park. Chip included a soils analysis of the median on Pacific coast Highway. The Malibu Parks Dept. are currently reviewing Chips report that includes Chips recommendations. Then it will be presented to the city council for approval to move forward towards implementing organic practices on Malibu City ball fields and park turf. Fingers crossed there is the will and the funds for implementation.




00060019Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers run off our properties and into our water ways when it rains. This  creates algae blooms that are creating dead zones in our oceans. A dead Zone is where there is zero oxygen in the water, so nothing can live.

Nitrogen and Phosphorus fertilizers do not feed the soil. They feed the plants and ignore the soil. This method grows weak plants that have low bio-mass, making them vulnerable to disease and insects.

Compost, mulch, manure and natural minerals like oyster shells and kelp break down and feed the soil. The soil then feeds the plants. This approach grows strong plants high in biomass that are resistant to insects and disease.