Jeffry Hill – Feeding the Soil

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.

Jeffry Hill

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.

Jeffry Hill – The Introduction to Soil Structure

Jeffry Hill is a trustworthy expert on soil with years of experience in the agriculture business.

The living soil is a breathing, growing, digesting organism. To be more accurate, it is a combination of millions of different organisms. One teaspoon of soil contains more individuals than the populations of Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo, London and Moscow combined.

Jeffry Hill

This system works as a food source, lungs and a filter for the planet. Almost every molecule in our water, air and food goes through the soil at some point of its existence.

We almost never notice it, but the life in the top twelve inches of the ground creates the circumstances required for life to flourish above ground. Knowing this is the secret to successful farming and gardening.

The complexity of a soil can be explained by a simple statement: if you want healthy plants and foods, you need healthy soil.

Every soil-science class explains that a soil has four components. A half by volume consists of minerals. These are the tiny pieces of rocks that have been turned by rain, flowing water and wind over thousands of years into the bits that they are today.

Minerals are the nonliving foundation of the soil. Most of the other half of the soil consists of pore space. The size of pore space varies from large canals that are visible to the human eye to tiny microscopic channels. All of the pore space is filled with water and air. The quantity of water and air that fills the pore space changes depending on weather conditions and irrigation. Water usually stays on the sides of the hard soil and air fills the spaces in the middle.

Soil organic matter is all the substance in the soil that is currently alive or was alive at a certain point of its existence. The matter includes the leaves that fall from the trees, manure and so on. It also includes live plant roots and decayed roots from years or decades ago. Live and dead microorganisms, worms, spiders and so on are also a part of the organic soil matter. Even the cardboard and paper are a part of it because they were once a living tree.

Even though the organic part of the soil is very small by volume compared to the mineral and pore space parts, it plays a crucial role in determining almost all properties of a soil. It influences what you can do with a sandy soil. It raises the amount of water a soil can contain and when it the water is releases to plants. It even contains plant nutrients. A soil without organic matter is similar to a big piece of rock.

Even though organic matter plays such an important role, only five percent of it is alive. This equals to less than 0.5 percent of the entire soil, notes Jeffry Hill