Great soil is the foundation for all healthy plants. It houses the roots, water, nutrients, microbes, worms, insects, and arthropods that create and maintain the ecosystem within the soil. A soil with an active microbial count is the healthcare system for the earth. It restores health after an infection, detoxifies itself from toxic chemicals, prevents plants from diseases, and retains large amounts of water to prevent runoff and flooding.
We owe a lot to the material that is beneath our feet, and the best thing we can do is mimic nature. We all love a beautiful landscape. It is these plants that protect our earth, cycle oxygen, shade our homes from sunlight, shield us from strong winds, and give us food.
The leaves that fall from the trees are the mulch for the soil, flowers that have dropped become food for the microbes, and all brown and green debris decompose to produce the compost that populates life in the soil.
The three ways to mirror nature and maintain a thriving soil ecosystem is to apply at least 1″ of compost, 2″ of native mulch, & then apply actively aerated compost tea prescribed for the plants in your landscape.
When we apply an herbicide, pesticide, or fungicide, they kill beneficial organisms too. This strips the soil from its defense system and allow the bad guys (anaerobic microbes & pests) to penetrate the structure of the plants to create havoc. The microbes are the soil’s immune system. Just as when we take an antibiotic, doctors recommend to consume yogurt/probiotics to re-inoculate our bodies with helpful bacteria.
Bacteria & viruses make up a portion of our bio-mass. Just as we need them to survive, so does the soil. If we are to apply a toxic chemical through conventional methods, it is important to follow that step with applying a top dressing of compost to the effected area or compost tea to restore the life in the soil.
Maintaing the soil food web is a big key factor in maintaining sustainability. Programs like these will produce low maintenance landscapes that will reduce and eliminate the need for conventional methods that poison our gardens, pets, children, soils, and water sources.