If we are what we eat, then the same logic can also be applied to our leafy friends that reside in the garden – but exactly why do plants need nutritious soil?
To understand the importance of nutritious soil on a global scale, it’s perhaps easier to explain why unhealthy soil can have disastrous consequences. When soil is damaged from things like tilling and exposure to too many chemicals, carbon heads up into the atmosphere instead of into the dirt. Alarmingly, if this is allowed to continue for too long, the soil ultimately dries out and turns to dust. This process is called desertification – and is predicted to displace over fifty million people globally in the next decade.
Alternatively, nutritious soil that’s considered to be healthy does quite the opposite. If we think big, healthy soil helps to reduce poverty, lower carbon emissions, and ultimately provides us with bigger, stronger and healthier plants. However, what exactly is it about nutritious soil that is considered to be the key ingredient for better plants, and why do they need it?
How Healthy Soil Makes Healthy Plants
On face value, nutritious soil is rich in organic materials, and is often soft and crumbly to touch. Beneath the surface, soil that’s at it’s best contains a huge variety of microbes and bacteria, has good aeration with plenty of oxygen circulating, and has medium to high porosity in order to provide drainage.
Soil bacteria and other microbes perform many important ecosystem services in the soil. Just a handful of these include improved soil structure and soil aggregation, recycling of soil nutrients, and water recycling. Soil bacteria form microaggregates in the soil, by binding the soil’s particles together. These microaggregates are the building blocks for improving soil structure, which increases water infiltration and water holding capacity of the soil. In a nutshell, the aim of the game is to build a healthy, happy, sustainable and long lasting ecosystem.
Healthy soil also contains the three major ‘building blocks’ for optimised plant care, and are generally considered to be the ‘NPK’ triad: Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. These natural plant boosters are not only a necessity for any healthy garden ecosystem, but they also help to stimulate the following:
Nitrogen – Responsible for leaf growth. Nitrogen is essential for producing proteins and chlorophyll and it’s very important to give plants the right amount. Signs of a deficiency include yellow or pale green leaves, or stunted growth.
Phosphorus – Responsible for root and shoot growth, along with flower or fruit development. Signs of a deficiency include darkening around the edges of the plant’s leaves, and small or absent flowers.
Potassium – Responsible for the plant’s internal systems, or regulating it’s ‘breathing’. Signs of a deficiency include brown spots on the leaves, brown or yellow veins, or yellowing edges. Too much potassium makes plants more susceptible to drought and disease.
However, in today’s world – most of our plants have been ‘domesticated’. More often than not, their roots are restricted in pots, the soil we use may actually be peat and coil based and not soil at all, and have little to no beneficial microbes that are generally found in the ground. The latter is particularly important, as without these your plant may not be able to process the fertiliser or plant food that you are giving them. While they are generally found and produced in natural and organic matter, the good news is that there is an alternative when it comes to introducing all the “good stuff” to your garden and to ultimately cultivate more nutritious soil.
Your Guide To Creating Healthy Soil At Home
Do your plants – and yourself – a favour, and give them a head start by optimising your soil prior to planting. By adding a natural plant food like Biotic Booster, this will help your garden to:
- Provide essential nutrients and microbes
- Act as a liquid fertiliser to unlock your soil’s potential
- Drought proof your plants and lower water consumption
- Increase and speed up the germination process
- Assist in protecting your plants from pests and diseases
- Provide a natural solution that’s safe to use around your herbs, fruit and veggies
If you’re ready to take the leap into improving the health of your plants while minimising the use of chemical based fertilisers this Spring, then it may be time to try plant food and plant probiotics. Our Ultimate Garden Health Pack includes our Biotic Booster, FP-60 Probiotic Spray, and RE-250 Soil Energiser. In each concentrated bottle, millions of natural bacterias are waiting to find a new home in your garden.
Here at Bioweed, we specialise in environmentally friendly gardening products, including herbicides, plant probiotics, and natural alternatives to traditional gardening solutions. Should you have any questions about how to improve the sustainability of your garden, get in touch with us today.