Feed your soil with organic fertilizers.

Organic fertilizers are a product of nature. The advantage of organic fertilizers is that they become available to a plant through a totally different process than a chemical fertilizer. They play a role in feeding the food web of the soil. They are consumed by the microbial life in the soil and their nutrients are transferred by a food chain within the soil. The beauty of this is they do not leach out and contaminate the surrounding soil. They release nutrients through a very unique system set up by nature.

Organic fertilizers are a source of carbon. Carbon is what fuels life in an organic soil. All life in the soil needs carbon to get energy to survive.   A teaspoon of good garden soil can contain a billion bacteria, several yards of invisible fungal hyphae, several thousand protozoa and a few dozen nematodes. Earthworms, birds and animals all are part of a rich organic soil. The huge number of bacteria and fungi in the soil consume carbon in an organic    fertilizer.  Plants through a photosynthetic process releases exude’s in it root hairs. These attract bacteria and fungi to the roots of the plant where they feast on these exude’s in the form of carbohydrates. Nematodes, Artropods, and protozoa come to this area to consume bacteria and fungi and what they don’t need to survive they poop out in the form of rich nutrients that the roots readily absorb. The area that all this takes place in is called the rhizosphere. This is the immediate area that surrounds the roots of the plant. It is the plant who is king and dominates what takes place in its own immediate area. It is the plant that attracts the bacteria and fungi to it.  It is the plant that sets up this unique area that man continues to tinker with. It is the sun that fosters photosynthesis, that creates translocation that converts CO2 into oxygen, sequesters carbon and reduces global warming.  It’s an amazing system that I am not sure I totally understand but its nature’s way and it is an amazing way. Why does man tinker with and destroy such a sustainable system.  Organic fertilizers are all composed of products that come from the earth. Everything from the earth needs to go back into the earth. This is what makes nature work.

In the rhizosphere of a plant or in the surrounding soil of this area there is a food web filled with life.  

There are lots of things that take place in the soil. We could make a full length movie of the interactions that take place in a rich organic soil. If we could get the magnification up high enough it would be a thriller beyond our comprehension. There is a movement up the food chain that takes place that is chilling. There are areas of dominance staked out by plants and protected by its root system. There is interaction between plants and the life of the soil which supply its roots with the nutrients it needs to survive. This whole city of life with thousands of microbial living parts is incomprehensible for me to understand. I am sure not each food web is the same and not each rhizosphere is the same. I would assume different organic matter would support a different number and a different form of microbial life. Even in the world of bacteria there are differences and types. We know so little about the organic world. Are colleges have spent their money and resources on developing synthetic formulas to grow every species of plants, inventing machinery to mechanize labor chores and manipulating our crops so that we can spray toxic weed killers to eliminate weeding.  In the process they are fighting natures system and developing their own system. They have developed chemical fertilizers and pesticides, fungicides and herbicides which kill the life in the soil. 

We now know this huge and long experiment doesn’t work. Not only has it affected our food chain and ruined the health of the people in our country but it has affected the grain we feed our cattle which has led to more methane gas they let go into the air. Animals like humans thrive on exercise and healthy food. Once we start bulking our cattle up we are messing with nature’s ways.  Bulking up cattle with inferior food is another situation where a large amount of methane gas gets pumped into our environment adding to global warming.

This is another example where chemical farming is a crime on nature and adds to global warming. Organic farming reduces global warming in many ways. Healthy plants make for healthy animals. Healthy free range animals make for healthy soils. Healthy soils grow strong robust plants. Strong healthy plants grown on organic soils take toxins out of the air. A healthy plant will utilize CO2 and convert it into oxygen.  Nature provides us with a cycle to follow that will save our earth.     

Use blended organic products and alternate brands with different ingredients to get as wide and diverse a selection of organics in our soils as you can.  Blended products are easy to accomplish when you are packaging dry formulation products. There are a lot of great organic products to choose from. We know how old time gardeners have touted any one of these products for achieving the great success they have had in their garden. Each product is different and can have a different impact but they all have one thing in common building up the microbial population in the soil. Microbes in turn can extract a lot of nutrients from the existing soil.  I will list some of the more popular organic foods although I am sure there are lots more. The important thing that I have learned in mixing my own soils is the greater the mix the greater the results. I am not sure I understand everything that takes place in the soil but I am sure of my cardinal rules that I live by ‘the greater the mix the greater the results’ always works.

My mother was a great cook and we hardly ever went out for dinner. My friends would come over to my house to play and my mother would always invite them to join us at the dinner table.  They loved to eat her meals and they would always call their mother, tell her they were invited to dinner and begged their mother to let them stay.  She never cooked the same meal in the same month. She varied the vegetables, meats, foul and fishes we ate. Maybe that is where I learned at a very young age, the greater the mix the greater the results. When one goes out to eat you usually choose your favorite meal and you end up eating the same thing over and over. I always felt I grew up healthy because of the great mixture of food my mother made us eat.  So I have lived my whole life with this ingrained philosophy.  Nature has provided us with an abundance of choices and each choice can contribute something else to our well being. I believe the same principle holds true for the health of our soil and the plants that grow in it.

This is a list of organic products taken from Rodale’s Ultimate Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening.

 Alfalfa meal, Bone meal, Blood meal, Coffee grounds, Colloidal phosphate, Compost, Cottonseed meal, Eggshells, Epsom salts, Fish Emulsion, Fish meal, Granite meal, Grass clippings, Greensand, Gypsum, Kelp meal, Limestone dolomatic, Limestone calcitic,  Leaf mulch, Peat moss,  Rock phosphate, Sawdust, Soybean Meal, Su-Po-Mag, Wheat straw, Wood ashes (leached), Wood ashes (unleached), Worm castings.

To add to this list are the manures. The manures should not be added raw but composted first. Almost all manures bought in a bag have gone through a composted process.  The kinds of manure usually used are; Chicken, Cow, Duck, Horse, Pig, Rabbit, Sheep and Steer.  

When applying an organic fertilizer determine if you want to apply a dry formulation which comes in a bag form or a liquid form. A dry form usually takes longer to break down and feeds over a longer period of time. A liquid form is usually quicker acting.  I usually like to use both and use them for different purposes.  Running a greenhouse operation I mix my dry formulations into my soil and I feed my potted plants weekly with liquid formulations.  My results are incredible. I make sure I mix as many organic dry products into my soil and make sure I always use a blended formula and mix different brands in the mix. If you read the label you can come up with a great mixture. Liquid formulations are either mixed together or alternated, Greenhouse operations use a ferto injector which allows for easy mixing when you make up the stock solution. Homeowners need to rely on alternating their applications. Fish and kelp organic liquid fertilizers are popular. I also use a seed based liquid fertilizer where all the macro and micro nutrients go back into the seed and then are squeezed out into a liquid fertilizer. It is called Natures Source. Don’t forget my slogan, ‘the greater the mix the greater the results’.  It is strong organically grown healthy plants that are our hope to extract CO2 out of the air and lead our fight to reduce carbon emissions from our atmosphere.

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