About half of the volume of healthy soil is made up of minerals and organic matter. The other half is taken up with air and water. So, proper maintenance of your soil includes aeration, keeping the pH balanced, supplying a steady source of new organic material and fertilizing as needed. When the soil has plenty of air, water, minerals and organic material, it can support microorganisms that produce valuable plant nutrients and help eliminate thatch through decomposition. So caring for your soil is really the first step to a healthy lawn. For a nominal fee many county extension offices will perform a soil test if you dig up a sample and take it to their lab. So get yours checked and get busy creating some healthy soil. You’ll improve your lawn in the process and reduce your need for fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides.