Enhancing Your Soil with Microbes

In both gardening and agriculture, we tend to focus on the basics to get our plants to grow. Proper watering, proper sunlight and adding fertilizer are the three most common ways to get plants growing.

But is that all there is to plant health? The answer is no. There is an important and often unknown element that plays a crucial role in plant health: microbes.

Mycorrhizae

Photo by Fine Gardening Magazine

Soil microbes are important pieces to the ecological puzzle in gardening and agriculture. Many of these microscopic organisms break down nutrients like calcium and magnesium and make it easier for the plants to absorb them. Other microbes like mycorrhizae can effectively expand the root structure of plants by 100 to 1000 times their normal extent.

Others help the plants to access phosphorus and other vital nutrients that may otherwise be out of the plant’s reach.

One of the most important functions of soil microbes is that they keep the nutrients in the root zone, so that they are not leeched out of the soil or runoff with irrigation. This means less fertilizer must be applied for the same results. It is estimated that only 40 to 60% of fertilizer applied actually gets absorbed by the crops they are intended for. That means that farmers and gardeners are wasting as much as 60% of the money they spend to apply fertilizer.

With microbes, this waste can be substantially reduced.

soil microbes

Photo by WSU Extension

We are in the process of contacting several microbe manufacturers and harvesters to develop frequency devices that enhance the beneficial soil microbes and substantially increase their activity rate. This will have the dual effect of making the microbes even more powerful in reducing fertilizer waste, but also reconditioning the soil so that it remains healthy and fertile from season to season.

If you are currently adding microbes to your soil, let us know which microbe mixes you use and what results you’re seeing.