woensdag 31 januari 2018

It looks like war

... We call it 'fertilizing', but in fact we talk about 'biological activity', 
     either 'soil activity'

In fact compost is the energy for the bacterium in the soil, it is the food for the bacterium. And that action of the bacteria... this 'breaking open' of the soil... this releasing of minerals from the soil, is the actual food for the plant.

Our soil contains many stones... A tremendous supply of minerals.
An interplay

The bacteria use the compost (the freely accessible carbon) in order to release the minerals from the soil to build up their own bacterial body. These bacteria are then eaten by other bacteria. And those again by other bacteria (from 'higher ranks') The plant itself also plays an important role (in dissolving the minerals) by means of the enzymes from its plant root extraction. This process takes place very close to the roots. And the plant itself determines what it does, so what it uses from the available supply of food in the soil.
This is how the plant gets its minerals... and there now are 12... 24... 42+ essential minerals known. The most well-known minerals are N.P.K .; Nitrate, Phosphate and Potassium. Nitrate (N) for the leaf. Phosphate (P) for the root and the flower and Potassium (K) for the firmness of the plant.
We often notice that organic vegetables naturally taste more salty than non-organic. There may be more (types of) minerals inside the plant, of which potassium salt (K) is the best known. 
The plant also extracts nitrogen (N) from the air, which the plant converts into sugars (mainly), which also feeds bacteria (in an interaction with enzymes). Basically it is an interplay, an activity of plant and compost together, where the soil supplies the food (the minerals). This is biological activity, or soil activity.

The more activity, the more food will be available from the soil to the plant. We ourselves determine what will grow in that soil. Here we are the boss. Making use of the cultivation of leguminous crops (beans and peas) is a well known example of bringing nitrogen into the soil. Smart crop sequences have not been invented for nothing. But primarily we have to take care of soil activity.

It looks like war

To illustrate: First of all, there is that large group of bacteria that are the first to start the breakdown (the release) of minerals and are numerically large in number... and therefore have a lot of power, but are not aware of it (just like people). The bacteriophages then eat a large number of them... just because they are bigger, stronger and/or smarter (just like people). It should be noted that people should not eat other people, but you will understand :)
When the temperature rises or falls,  or with drought, for example... the next group of bacteria will die... (the weather is the same for people as for bacteria). So there is a huge war going on down there. And that is where our plants live from. 

We have a strong tendency to call this 'fertilizing'. But mostly, with 'fertilizing' we mean animal manure, or artificial fertilizer and that is something totally different. In fact, the soil is your fertilizer. After all, soil consists of mineral. It IS mineral.

Take the soil in your hand... What are you holding? What material is it? Right... minerals! AND if everything is okay... lots of organic matter!

As a human being we are so good at warfare... With that knowledge we would be able to understand the well-being of the bacteria in the soil. Maybe we should leave warfare to the bacteria...? Let us play with the bacteria... in our own vegetable garden... exciting! Play the 'Minerals Game'!



Watch the video by Elaine Ingham, 'The Roots of Your Profits'

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