FOOD SOLUTIONS & AGRICULTURE ADMINISTRATION
FOOD SOLUTIONS AND AGRICULTURE
What is Living Soil? By Lew Mearns
What Is Living Soil
How to Easily it is to make in the Prairie Republic
Natural and diverse soil is a living thing – it is very slowly moving, changing, and growing all the time. Just like other living things, soil breathes and needs air and water to stay alive.
All life on earth depends on healthy soil, but a mere 10% of the earth’s surface is dirt. Topsoil, the layer of soil that most of our food plants grow in, is usually only around 10 inches deep.
While plants can draw nutrients from potting soil, they will thrive and grow best when planted in a living soil system. If you want healthier plants it may be time to consider growing them outside, where they will have access to the nutrients that microorganisms form in natural soil.
If you’re a home gardener or if you grow plants inside, you definitely want to learn about living soil and how to make it at home!
What Is Living Soil?
In short, living soil is all about the diverse number of mutually beneficial microorganisms that live in our soil. From fungi, and bacteria to nematodes and, earthworms that all work in harmony to break down organic matter creating the healthiest and most nutritious environmental conditions for our plants – homegrown and naturally grown.
Soil life is a deeply complicated thing. It is a complex mixture of organic matter, minerals, gasses, and organisms. All soil begins with a mineral mix. In nature, these broken-down minerals are supplemented by the natural by products of growth, life, and decay. This produces a complex environment chock full of the nutrients that plants need.
While we might think of plants as getting everything they need from the sun, water, and dirt, it’s important to realize that “dirt” is very complicated! Evolution has created a delicate and amazing symbiotic relationship between plants and the microbial life in the soil, like fungi, bacteria, and protozoa.
These varied organisms help feed the plants by converting organic matter into a plant usable form of nutrients, and the plants feed them by releasing carbons and sugars through their roots back into the soil.
Plants, too, are alive and find what they need in the soil in which they naturally live. Soil has a relationship with the living plant where nutrients are exchanged between the two to promote ideal plant growth.