Teaming With Microbes
We now know that we can team with microbes
in our soil to provide a growing medium for all plants that is
superior to petrochemicals in disease resistance, drought
tolerance, water requirements, productivity, yield, produce
shelf life, plant nutrition levels and insect
this is a only short list of benefits! We do this by cultivating
large numbers and diversity of microbes that are the basis of
the breakdown of organic residues into usable plant
nutrients. In our
last newsletter, we listed the first 5 Soil Food Web Gardening
Rules mentioned and recommended in Teaming with Microbes,
A Gardener’s Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lownfels
and Wayne Lewis.
Here are the next 7:
Aged, brown organic materials support fungi; fresh,
green organic materials support bacteria.
Mulch laid on the surface tends to support fungi; mulch
worked into the soil tends to support bacteria.
If you wet and grind mulch thoroughly, it speeds up
Coarse, dryer mulches support fungal activity.
Sugars help bacteria multiply and grow; kelp, humic and
fulvic acids, and phosphate rock dusts help fungi
By choosing the compost you begin with and what
nutrients you add to it, you can make teas that are
heavily fungal, bacterially dominated, or
Compost teas are very sensitive to chlorine and
preservatives in the brewing water and
By employing these simple guidelines (and
more that will be presented in future newsletters) you can join
with the microbe team which is ready and willing to create an
ecosystem in your soil which will provide an extraordinary
growth medium for anything you want to grow. This team has been playing
together for millions of years (they have their playbook down!)
cycling dead plants into reusable material. These guidelines allow you to
set up your own “factory” of nutrient cycling in your yard and
garden to achieve similar spectacular results in a child, pet,
wildlife and earth friendly manner.
Used with Permission from Yelm Worm