Thursday, October 31, 2013

Good quality soil

Soil is a mixture of clay like and sand like particles. These serve as a substrate in which the life processes of microbes take place. These tiny creatures 'eat' or 'process' organic material, changing its molecular state. The resultant material in the soil is what plant roots are able to absorb. So having the right amounts of air, organic material and water in your soil, with the best mixture of sand and clay like particles is ultimately what gives your soil the capacity to grow. It is what determines how much growth takes place, how vibrant and active the whole system of your garden is or can become. The life of planet earth is in the soil. Making and building soil is something every person on the planet should take some level of responsibility for. You can start with a compost heap and add the proceeds of a bokashi bin and a worm farm to your soil as well. This sounds gross to the uninitiated but is really not. What's gross is the level of food waste that humanity indulges in without ever considering the obvious consequences.

It is important that we look after this life. Too few people understand how bacteria 'fix' nitrogen in soil, how Oxygen, water, nitrogen and living creatures are all involved in an endless cycle and the more material we remove from this cycle by not reintroducing it to the soil the more tenuous life on planet earth is going to become.

To keep a variety of healthy microbes in soil it is necessary to feed them with as wide a variety of organic materials as possible, further than that, if your planting arrangement, the pattern in which you have companion planted your crops, herbs and barrier plants, is diverse and varied, your soil health and structure will stabilise into an optimal condition, resulting in growth and health that is unsurpassed. Adding manure to trigger nitrifying reactions in the soil is a common practice, it is however advisable to allow time to prevent contamination by manures.

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