Urban Soils

Our Urban Soils work includes basic studies of garden soils, as well as studies of garden soil microbiomes. The read more about our garden soils work, please visit recent posts that have been tagged as ‘garden soils’ posts.

Gwynne Mhuireach is nearing the completion of her USDA NIFA funded post-doctoral work, looking at the microbiome in garden soils, and whether soil microbes influence gardeners’ skin microbiome, as a consequence of time spent gardening.

Mykl Nelson crafted and successfully defended a Master’s of Science thesis project for this lab in May, 2018. Over the summer of 2017, he conducted a survey of the chemical, physical, and biological properties of garden soils in Corvallis and Portland.  He focused on soils used for vegetable production and compared results between raised beds and in-ground beds. He found:

  • raised beds were significantly different (and often more enriched) than in-ground beds ~⅓ of the time.
  • beds under the same manager significantly differed by bed-type for 8 parameters.
  • no significant difference by bed-type in heavy metal content.

Research Updates

After a brief summer hiatus, Mykl is once again an active member of the Garden Ecology Lab. His new role is as an Instructor of Urban Agriculture, and he is creating two new courses in this subject area to be taught on eCampus beginning in the Fall term of 2019. Stay updated on his blog posts here.