Good soil that has developed over time without disturbance is endowed by nature with the perfect balance of living organisms. These organisms create a loose, aerated soil with excellent water holding capacity. Plants in these soils have roots that are able to go deep. Their nutrient and water uptake is enhanced by the bacteria and fungal hyphae associated with the plant roots. The balance of organisms keeps diseases in check. The health of these plants enables them to resist pests and diseases as well.
Unfortunately we rarely see such perfectly developed soils because of our necessity to disturb them through tilling, clearing, construction, use of synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, etc. The resulting damaged soils tend to become compacted and sour, losing the ability to support the important microbial groups that both feed and protect plants.
We think we have to take over the functions Mother Nature used to do. So we try to feed plants by giving them copious amounts of chemical fertilizers. Then, when pests and diseases attack, we fight them off with miticides, fungicides and insecticides. Our plants are now totally dependant on our inputs to survive.
These organism-impoverished soils just happen to be a competitive niche for weeds. Therefore, weed eradication is another function we take over with herbicides, hard work, or soil damaging plastic. Continued applications of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides create a toxic environment for earthworms, fungi, bacteria and beneficial nematodes through radical changes in pH and the buildup of toxic salts and heavy metals.
As with most dependencies, it is difficult to stop. Going “cold turkey” won’t work because the plants will have lost the ability to engage in the natural symbiotic processes with soil organisms that make plants healthy and hardy, and the many of the soil microbes will have been lost.
Fortunately in the last few years new tools and products have emerged to help build good soils for healthy plants. It is now possible to add back the important microbial organisms needed to get the soil back into health. Willamette Organics Premium Aerated Compost Tea is made by taking properly made vermicompost (worm compost) and extracting all of the beneficial microbes and valuable humic substances in it, and then propagating the microbes in a process called “brewing”. This highly concentrated liquid compost can then be applied to the soil and directly on to plants where it re-introduces beneficial organisms. Premium Aerated Compost Tea helps damaged soils regain the ability to cycle soil organic matter into plant available nutrients, it helps build structure into the soil and it helps protect plants from soil and air born diseases. Occasional and/or periodic applications of compost tea helps restore damaged soils and keep good soils fully populated with beneficial microbes. Plants in these living healthy soils resist stress and perform better. The living component of the soil cycles a full spectrum of mineral nutrients to them, allowing full enzymatic activity in the plants, which makes them hardier and more resistant to pests.
Now we can put Mother Nature back to work for us. Instead of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, we can have “mothernatureonoursides”. Willamette Organics Premium Aerated Compost Tea has a pleasant earthy odor and is completely safe around children and pets.
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