Soil Carbon is one of the pieces of the soil food web puzzle that often goes overlooked but is the main food source needed for beneficial microorganisms that live in the soil.  Maintaining a balance of Carbon to Nitrogen at 20:1 in the soil directly helps support a healthy soil food web. This will give you healthy, hearty plants and turf and help to promote overall lawn heath throughout the year.

Benefits of proper Soil Carbon ratios

When microorganisms have enough carbon, they:

  • Promote active and diverse soil biology.
  • Reactivate and sustain naturally occurring biological cycles.
  • Increase soil exchange capacity.
  • Improve soil structure which facilitates air and water movement in the soil.
  • Increase soil’s available essential nutrients.
  • Enhance root function which increases the plant’s access to nutrients and water.
  • Suppress disease and reduce stress.
  • Improve water management efficiencies.
  • And Reduce excess soil biocarbonates and sodium accumulation making for healthier soil.

Environmental Impact

Soil carbon plays a vital role in regulating climate, water supplies and biodiversity. It provides the ecosystem with services that are essential to not only a plant’s well-being but a human’s well-being. We need to limit soil carbon loss due to erosion and emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

How it Works

Carbon is taken out of the soil by photosynthesis and goes into organic soil matter. Soil carbon is the last major pool of the carbon cycle. What is fixed by plants is transferred to the soil via dead plant matter, including dead roots, leaves, and fruiting bodies. This dead organic matter creates a substrate which decomposes and respires back to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide or methane, depending on the availability of oxygen in the soil. Soil carbon is also oxidized by combustion and returned to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.


The carbon content of soil is a major factor in its overall health. We want healthy soil and know you do too.  Call Emerald Lawns today at 512-990-2199