Beautiful gardens begin with healthy soil. The concept of soil quality is the capacity of soil to provide key functions and is measured using a variety of biological, chemical, and physical properties and processes. Soil health indicators have been used in natural ecosystems to measure the efficacy of restoration, detect sustaining or degrading systems, and provide a framework with which to compare management regimes. Broad possibilities exist to use this approach in botanic gardens but to date this opportunity has been largely overlooked. Single-point (garden bed) or continuous measures (garden-wide) of soil quality could provide insights into the consequences of management practices. Attendees will leave with knowledge of soil quality assessment and its application and utility in botanic gardens.

Presenters: A. Novy, United States Botanic Garden, Washington, District of
Columbia; L. Egerton-Warburton, T. Tiddens and A. Bunting, Chicago Botanic
Garden, Glencoe, Illinois; G. Paige, Bartlett Tree Experts, Charlotte, North
Carolina; K. Morrell, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York