- makes possible a significantly increased amount of cured (stable) soil carbon (humus) to be produced from a given amount of input material1, which means that soil may be built up each year that food is grown.
increases soil organic matter levels in the growing area each year, allowing for:
- more water to be retained in the soil, leading to decreased water requirements
- more nutrients to be retained in the soil, leading to decreased fertilizer requirements and further-decreased water requirements
- supports increased diversity and populations of beneficial soil microbial life, leading to:
- improved soil and plant health and
- further-decreased fertilizer requirements.
allows, when combined with deep soil preparation, more food to be grown in the same space due to increased nutrient availability.
reduces soil disease pressure, leading to further-improved soil and plant health.
improves soil structure by promoting improved aggregate particle size, creating pore space for air and water, which leads to:
- an improved environment for plant roots
- further decreased water requirements due to greater soil water storage capacity
1) Douglas Edward Maher, Changes in Carbon Content in a Soil under Intense Cultivation with Organic Amendments (University of California–Berkeley, 1983).