Agriculture expert Jeffry Hill says that soil organisms that are present in the living soil are responsible for building a healthy soil. Therefore, feeding the living soil is one of the most important priorities for gardeners and farmers. When the living soil is being fed, it produces nutrients and water for plants and microorganisms and keeps diseases under control.
Focusing on feeding the soil first allows farmers and gardeners to feed plans and microorganisms in a sustainable and lasting way. It also reduces the costs of supplemental fertilizers and decreases the amount of work.
Soil organisms feed on the same essential nutrients as plants do. The difference is that soil organisms don’t have access to atmosphere and can’t get their carbon from it. They get it from the organic matter.
Bacteria, fungi and other soil organisms are primarily made of nitrogen and carbon. This is why these two nutrients are the most important foods for the living soil.
Nitrogen is responsible for fast plant growth and the green color of leaves. However, too much nitrogen can cause its own problems. Plants that grow too fast can fall over because their stems won’t be able to support them. Such plants would also usually put too much energy into the leaves and not enough energy into the fruits and flowers.
Organic matter contains both nitrogen and carbon in significant amounts. They are everywhere: in kitchen scraps, dead leaves, plant residues, and even in human bodies. This is why organic matter is usually the best food for the soil ecosystem, notes Jeffry Hill.