Gardeners spend a lot of time in their garden working so that they could improve it and have a high yield. But did you know that most of the work is done by the “soil food web”?
You might not be familiar with this term. Soil food web refers to the plants, animals, inhabitants in the soil, and microorganisms. These are the ones who do most of the work in the garden and gardeners are just helping them.
The organisms that live in the soil are the ones manipulating the soil so that it can support life. They feed and protect the plants. There are a lot of roles that these microorganisms have in the garden. You’re lucky if you have a healthy soil because 1 gram of healthy soil can contain a billion microorganisms. However, most people don’t have healthy soil.
In this post, we will share the 5 different ways you can improve your soil’s structure and health and in doing so, ensure healthier crops and better yield.
Compost is also often called the gardener’s black gold. Compost is very beneficial to your garden in that it gives the soil a lot of nutrients and most importantly, it adds more microorganisms in the soil. Your compost must be well-made and aerobic so that it will bring in aerobic microbes in your garden soil.
Also read: Composting Problems and Their Solutions
Effective Microorganisms (EM)
Some gardeners might not be familiar with effective microorganisms because it’s not that much popular in North America. Effective microorganisms are more widely known in Asia and other countries. EM has been in use in the garden since the early 80s to inoculate plants, compost, and soil.
Compost tea has a lot of different species or microbes, but EM has only at least 20 specific microbes which are important in the garden. Not a lot of garden centers sell EM but you can search for them online as ‘effective microorganisms’ or ‘efficient microbes’. You can buy them for $30 or less.
Gardeners have been using compost tea in the garden for centuries. Compost tea is easy to make, all you have to do is mix compost or manure and water in a bucket, stir it occasionally, and then apply it in your garden.
Compost tea is important to your garden because it can prevent fungal plant diseases from spreading throughout your garden.
Also read: Compost Tea: What It Is and How To Make It
Mycorrhizal fungi are some kind of special fungi that is also highly beneficial to plants. They bring water and nutrients to your plants in exchange for food from the plants. These fungi form a special relationship with the roots of plants which is vital for optimal plant health.
Mycorrhizal fungi can be bought as a granule or powder. It is best to apply these at planting or seeding time because you can get the fungi down into the soil near the roots. You can buy Mycorrhizal fungi online and in stores.
Leaf mold is made up of leaves that have been piled up and are partially broken down largely by fermenting microbes. If you have some extra leaves you can rake them into a pile and make your own leaf mold. You can apply leaf mold in the spring like mulch.