Organic matter in the soil is so important. Undisturbed soil typically has more than 5% carbon. In today’s backyards it’s not uncommon for soil to have less than 1% carbon. Carbon is vital for soil health. It helps the soil drain efficiently, retain moisture and provide food for soil biota. Healthy soil is a healthy garden. Cover crops (living manure that can be mulched back into the soil), manure, compost, biochar mulching and no-till are all tools to increase the soil organic matter. And generous helpings of worm juice and your soil will be well on the way to a beautiful productive system but it takes time for microbial activity, water infiltration and organic matter to get back up and running. Extensive research by the Rhodale Institute indicates that it takes 4 years to transform soil.