When you think of soil, you may think of a mixture, a surface, or even just dirt – you probably wouldn’t characterize it as “living.” However, treating soil like living, organic matter is exactly what landscapers and lawn care providers need to do in order to promote the health and longevity of their plants.
It’s not only a vehicle of growth for a variety of plants, but it also serves as a home to countless organisms that play an essential role in providing nutrients.
A Quick Look at the Human Microbiome
Human beings are consistently being told to watch their food and beverage intake by health care providers, dietitians, dentists, nutritionists, and coaches. Like plants, we have microorganisms in our body that are directly correlated to our health and livelihood.
These microorganisms, collectively called the human microbiome, improve our gut function and fight back against autoimmune diseases. They also respond to everything we consume, including overly-processed food and antibiotics.
You might be wondering, “What does this have to do with soil?” Let’s dig a little deeper.
The Devastation of the Soil Microbiome
If you understand how microorganisms impact human health, it’s easier to understand the relationship between microorganisms and soil. Just like the human body, soil depends on microorganisms to stay fertile and healthy.
There’s an entire community of bacteria and fungi that interact right underneath the surface of lawns and landscapes known as the soil microbiome. This community contributes to agriculture, climate regulation, and food production, and is essential to the productivity of plants. The soil microbiome can also conserve water, prevent soil erosion, and break down pollutants that negatively impact the environment.
Some species of bacteria require oxygen to thrive, others don’t; but their growth is dependent on the food that is available in soil. And instead of having to having to worry about a diet that’s high in fat, calories, or cholesterol, plant health is devastated when microorganisms “digest” too many chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides.
Additionally, these microorganisms can increase the root zone of plants, allowing them to pull in more water and nutrients. An abundance of chemicals can produce the opposite effect, essentially “starving” your plants of the substances they need to thrive, like nitrogen and minerals.
How to Solve the Problem
It’s natural for humans to think of bacteria and fungi negatively, especially when their very nature is completely misunderstood. However, microorganisms play a key role in both human and soil heath, and may be one of the most valuable life forms on our green planet.
Reintroducing the right bacteria and fungi into your soil (like you might introduce healthy alternatives into your diet) can help restore its fertility and the overall health of your plants. It’s critical for landscapers and lawn care providers to reduce their dependence on harmful chemicals and take a more organic approach. Additionally, microorganisms can decompose organic matter and degrade pesticides, meaning their presence in itself will continually contribute to the health and lifespan of plants.
Our goal is to provide landscapers, schools, and the agricultural industry with the knowledge and products they need to promote a healthy microbe population rather than threaten it. Our eco-friendly products work in tandem with microbes – rather than against them – to hold and convert the key nutrients in soil that plants depend on.