To help give your customers the best soil advice, The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA)‘s blog writers Kelley House and Kate Norvell have written a blog post all about plant residues.

According to House and Norvell, both certified professional soil scientists, plant “litter” that remains after a harvest is called residue. Leaving the residues in place over the winter, instead of pulling them up or tilling them into the soil surface, provides numerous benefits for the soil and your garden.

  • Plant residues reduce erosion and the loss of valuable topsoil.
  • Having plant residues on the soil surface prevents soil crusting.
  • Residual plant material reduces weeds by covering and shading the soil.
  • Plant residues provide shade, regulating soil temperature.
  • Cooler soil temperatures also aid in the retention of soil moisture, which in turn is favorable for seed germination in the spring and crop growth.
  • Crop residues provide micro-habitats that protect and benefit the germinating plant seeds and establishing seedlings.
  • Plant residues provide a source of organic matter for the soil.

To read the blog post, click here.