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This paper presents soil moisture retrieval from measured polarimetric backscattering coefficients of a vegetated surface. Based on the analysis of the quite complicate first-order radiative transfer scattering model for vegetated surfaces, a simplified scattering model is proposed for an inversion algorithm. Extraction of the surface-scatter component from the total scattering of a vegetation canopy is addressed using the simplified model, and also using the three-component decomposition technique. The back-scattering coefficients are measured with a polarimetric L-band scatterometer during two months as well as the biomasses, leaf moisture contents, and soil moisture contents. Then the measurement data are used to estimate the model parameters for vv-, hh-, and vh-polarizations. The scattering model for tall-grass-covered surfaces is inverted to retrieve the soil moisture content from the measurements using a genetic algorithm. The retrieved soil moisture contents agree quite well with the in-situ measured soil moisture data.