Natures Intelligence Pure & Simple
The Importance of soil microbes
The soil is alive! Below our feet and invisible to the naked eye, tiny microbes—the great digesters of the earth—constantly break down organic material into a more usable forms that plant roots can identify, absorb, and ultimately incorporate for new growth. This material includes complex organic compounds, such as tannins, lignins, proteins, carbohydrate, cellulose, pectin, etc.
Healthy soil should contain no less than 10,000,000 bacteria per gram. The presence of microbes ensures that nutrients are made available to plants at a steady rate. While the plants are actively growing—and requiring more nutrients—so do the microbes in the soil. As the weather warms, both the plant and microbes respond at a similar rate. The microbes become increasingly active in their role of breaking down organic materials into forms more readily absorbed by the growing plants that need extra nutrition. As the weather cools—and plants require less nutrition—so do the microbes. The reduction in their activity means fewer nutrients in the soil are being released to the plants. In this way, the soil can rebuild food reserves. This self-regulating cycle has occurred for millions of years as part of the wisdom of nature.
Microbes also help to stabilize the soil by physically binding soil particles together; they release a by-product called glomalin that acts as a “glue,” binding mineral particles and organisms to each other. This contributes greatly to soil aggregation. All of these processes happen naturally in a healthy, productive soil.
Feed the soil
When we feed our plants instead of our soil, we lose all the benefits that microbes contribute. When we say” feed the soil” it means feed the microbes in the soil, because it is the microbes that make nutrients available for the plants. The way you feed microbes is through the addition of organic material. If you feed with a synthetic chemical fertilizer, you are feeding the plant, not the soil, or the microbes. Adding petrochemical synthetic fertilizer also drives up the salt index in the soil and changes the pH, which can have adverse effects on plants.
More importantly, chemical fertilizers only feed for a short period of time; organic fertilizers offer continual feeding because the microbes cannot digest all of the organic fertilizer at once. With chemical fertilizers, we also lose the microbes’ contribution to soil aggregation. Good soil aggregation leads to improvements in tilth, water retention, the rates at which water penetrates the soil, the amount of oxygen in the soil, and the reduction of runoff. All of these desirable soil conditions can be achieved by adding organic material. As you can see, microbes are immeasurably important and essential to the health of all productive soils.
To elevate the microbial colonies in your garden, use Dr.Earth® organic fertilizers and soils. They contain Pro-Biotic™, a broad-spectrum soil and seed inoculant, already mixed into the products. Two things will happen when you use Dr. Earth®:
• The organic fertilizer and soil will become the food source for the microbes, providing almost immediate nutrition for your plants, which means fast results.
• Your soil will contain the proper number of microbes to truly benefit your plants because—unlike most organic fertilizers and soils— Dr. Earth® products have various species of beneficial microbes already included as components.
Remember: your soil is alive. DO NOT TREAT IT LIKE DIRT! Learn to work with, and nurture, the natural bio-system of your soil.
Milo Lou Shammas
Founder & Formulator