26 Jun Don’t Treat Your Soil Like Dirt
Promoting a healthy soil environment has taken on greater importance as farmers seek to find new ways to maximize crop output. Maintaining a healthy and active microbial atmosphere is important considering the many ways microbes contribute to agriculture. Soil microbes have key roles in plant decomposition and nutrient recycling. Many microbes also directly impact plants by aiding growth or offering protection against pests or stresses. Improving the structure of the soil itself is also one of the benefits of a biologically healthy soil. Microbes help maintain strength and integrity of the soil while also improving movement of water and roots throughout.
Fungi and its thread-like ability to spread through soil act as a mesh that provides structure to the soil and helps hold it together. As it grows, fungi also create channels and pores that enable better movement of water and easier travel for plant roots. Soil bacteria help contribute to soil quality by releasing a gel-like substance as they move along soil channels. This substance aids in maintaining structure by holding soil particles together. It also coats along the inside of the channels, which reduces surface tension for water as it passes through.
The value of any soil used for farming is greatly enhanced by a healthy and active microbial population. Adopting beneficial practices or using products that promote soil health can help maintain this environment and help crops perform their best.
Image source: XiteBio Technologies Inc.