Lawn Care Tips

As a lawn care provider for 20+ years, my aim here is to provide some helpful hints, tips and advice to those who want to increase the health and appearance of the lawn they care for. Whether you are new to lawn care or an old hand, you will find information here that will save you time, money and wasted effort. Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, April 24, 2005

Soil vs. Dirt

You can take what I have to say today with a grain of salt. It is just my personal preference and personal opinion with regard to using the term “dirt” when one is speaking about “soil”.

When I was young and had no understanding of the complexities of soil, I referred to soil as just dirt. If I had spent the day playing outdoors - perhaps digging or making mud pies or whatever - upon entering my home I was apt to hear the words from my mother, “Go wash that dirt off your hands!” And as the substance on my hands needed to be washed off, it truly was dirt. It was dirt because I had to scrub it off. I had to get it out from under my nails. It was dirt because it made me unclean.

Later, when I was older and studying horticulture, I gained a keen appreciation for all the dynamic interactions taking place in soil. From that time to this I have never referred to soil as dirt. Good rich topsoil can take centuries to develop. It is dynamic and is filled with all kinds of life, such as microbes, worms, fungi, insects, roots and more. It contains minerals and small rocks that vary in size from that of silt to pebbles. Soil also usually contains organic matter which is the decaying remnants of plant and animal life.

Now chances are pretty good that if you go down to your garden center and tell them that you need a few bags of dirt, they will know what you mean and direct you to a pallet loaded with bags of topsoil. After all, there will be nothing in the garden center labeled as “Dirt”. And, as we all learned as children, dirt is something to be avoided or to be washed away. The bottom line here is that because soil is the foundation of so many life forms on this planet that I have a very difficult time referring to it as lowly “dirt”. I prefer to give it the respect it deserves.

NEXT TIME: More and More People Are Growing Less and Less Lawn


At 10:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is very good i understand what you mean and i try my hardest trying to get kids to say soil not dirt

At 6:25 AM, Anonymous krelly said...

Yes, soil is better to hear than dirt it really deserves respect.Its just like saying animal to a man, the two are totally different.


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