Compaction reduces the porosity of the soil reducing oxygen levels but both facultative aerobes and obligate anaerobic can live quite happily regardless. These organisms play important roles in the food web and nutrient cycling within soil. Thank you Gabe Brown of North Dakota and Scott Park of California along with Dr. David Johnson with his Johnson-Su Composting Bio-Reactor for creating Optimistic Agriculture. I hope he just meant that many die off! If you add microbes and the soil conditions are not to their liking, they simply die. Feed them. This is a link to a 2-hour interview, but I’ll just suggest start watching at 1:07:56 and go until 1:10:18. I tend to agree with some of what you say–I just repeated what others have said, perpetuating what is probably a myth. Now I know city folk somehow think they created, but us country folk been doing it for centuries. I blog about it all the time! Does compaction kill microbes? There may be hundreds of millions to billions of microbes in a single gram of soil. Why would I spend money for something science can’t validate as being useful?? Do I need to stop composting.I do add nitrogen per soil test results. However, this is not generic. I personally find that “very expensive”, if I am getting nothing for my money–you might be OK with this. I do argue that rotavating or other methods of fluffing up the soil encourage those aerobic bacteria that oxidise organic matter. Farmers have known for years that microbes are critical for soil and plant health. Researchers obtain a greater knowledge about the genetic diversity of microorganisms and many of the antibiotics used in modern medicine today have been derived from the soil microbiota. Microbes are very small, and they are everywhere. I saw this video, thought it was really interesting, and wanted to share it with you. How do you know if they are living? 21 Common Indoor Plant Myths - That Save You Time and Money, LED Grow Lights - Getting the Right Color Spectrum, The Magical Power of Banana Peels in The Garden - Or Not, Eggshells - How Not to Use Them in the Garden, Ontario Rock Garden and Hardy Plant Society. The problem with compost tea and manure tea is that you have no idea which microbes you are brewing. Robert, I had just read an article by a gardening product retailer, discussing soil microbes and beneficial bacteria. In this post I will look at the misconceptions behind this trend. Why is it good for composts and not for soils? You don’t know that the ones in the pail are the ones your plant needs! Don’t add more using commercial products or compost tea. Your happy with any old microbes developing naturally in your garden (nothing wrong) but tea brewers have no idea whats in their tea and the benefits of certain ingredients? Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Besides, my plants are growing fine without inoculants. Rototilling and hoeing also destroys soil structure, and will disrupt fungi in the soil. You might also be interested in this post about using a microscope to identify microbes: Soil Bacteria – The Myth of Identification and Management. I probably also need to review my choice of the word ‘microbe’. Note added January 2015: A comment was made below that made me think about the italicized statements. In other parts of the video, they say that storing seeds in cool, dry places is detrimental to seeds because the microbes that ought to be on the seed during the growing stages aren’t on the seeds. Which is why I add commercial mychorrhizal amendments to planting holes. Although, only a fraction is of the soil microbiome known, it safe to say they play an important role in agriculture, food production and climate regulation. I have the luxury of gardening in Britain where the climate is not severe and where digging does not cause too much damage. If this activity does not load, try refreshing your browser. A microbe, also called a microorganism, is a generic term to refer to a wide range of microscopic life which includes things like fungi, algae and bacteria. Nutrients such as nitrogen and minerals get taken up by the root of plants. Commercial products, at best, contain 4 types. Microbes eat and digest organic matter. It is something many people say, but is it true? Good if you want a quick flush of nutrients, bad if you want to preserve your organic matter, My friend Peter who I am always quoting or reproducing his articles on my blog is not only a skilled and dedicated gardener (whoops he digs too) is a microbiologist who has specialised in mycorrhiza and other soil organisms agrees with me that adding organisms from a packet is highly dubious. The action of boar and pigs, chickens and moles all contribute to the turning over of soil. Anyway, I like what you’re doing on Garden Myths, using objectivity to expose these things. My grandfather farmed 400 acres with just an Ford 8n and grew tomatoes, water melons, squash and all types of other vegetables. Dirt is dead. Do Marigolds Stop Cabbage Worms – Is this Good Companion Planting? It is true that poor soil has fewer microbes, both in type and quantity. I think that fungi hyphae may well be seriously damaged – particularly those of mychorrhizal fungi. They are actually very inexpensive. There is no scientific evidence that adding probiotics to soil does anything good for your garden. Microorganisms digest organic matter, and in the process they provide nutrients to plants, and improve the structure of the soil. I think you are right when you say that soil organisms are disturbed by mechanical actions, however I would maintain that they are well adapted to cope with this. Please wait while the activity loads. However, she takes some of her ideas to extremes and presents information that is simply not correct, nor are all of herr opinions accepted by the scientific community. Soil microbes have two crops to feed on instead of one crop per year. Learn more. Soil microbes even exist in dormant condition and dormancy allows microbes to persist in unfavorable condition, increasing local-scale microbial diversity. Humm. The answer is NO. Read more articles about Soil, Fixes & Fertilizers. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. And expensive? The secret is to provide the microbes you already have with a home they love. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfBgw0lcdXs. That’s why I ended up here… They used many big words and seemed very educated. Huge numbers of bacterial and fungal cells live in soil along with smaller numbers of algae, other protists, and archaea. The word ‘kill’ is probably a poor choice of words, disruption of life might be better. Similar nitrogen-fixing partnerships form between other groups of plants and soil bacteria. Also, there are places where I think he kind of rambles a bit too long.
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