“Whether we like it or not, we are quickly entering a biological age of turfgrass management where microbiological solutions are sought for biological problems. It is becoming more and more apparent that maintaining active microbial communities in turfgrass soils is a vital part of overall turfgrass health. Research to date clearly shows the potential to bring about disease control through microbial-based technologies.” Eric B. Nelson, Ph.D. Cornell University
A teaspoon of healthy soil contains about 4 billion organisms—So it comes as no surprise that these microbes play a key role in building and maintaining healthy soil. Understanding how to work with these microbes instead of against them is one of the most important landscaping practices which will improve the health and appearance of lawns and gardens.
Healthy soil has amazing water-retention capacity. Every one percent increase in organic matter results in as much as 25,000 gal of available soil water per acre. Improving the health of soil by adding more organic matter to create structure and pore space will help reduce nutrient runoff and give you more return for your fertilizer dollars.
Improving soil can also save money by reducing summer irrigation needs because plants grow deeper roots and the soil holds more water. Healthier plants have fewer pest and disease problems and need less fertilizer—so you’ll need fewer chemicals, which is good for human health and the environment. To top it off, beneficial soil organisms also break down pollutants, and they help move carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into long-term storage in the soil.
Healthy soils are…
Full of life
Millions of species, billions of organisms make up a complex and diverse mix of microscopic life
Represents the greatest concentration of biomass anywhere on the planet
Includes bacteria, algae, microscopic insects, earthworms, beetles, ants, mites and fungi
High in organic matter
There may be no other component that’s more important to a healthy soil than organic matter
Carbon in organic matter is the main source of energy for soil-microbes, key for making nutrients available to plants
The addition of known beneficial microorganisms and the organic matter that they live in and feed off of will improve soil structure, drainage issues, nutrient cycling and plant immune systems.
Soil health is the foundation of any plant health care system because good soil makes it easier to get good results. Most landscapers are dealing with compacted soils that have much less life in it—Simply correct this “by maintaining active microbial communities” and get better results with bigger profit margins.