The Role of Microbes in Soil Fertility
October 2, 2014
Microbes help build turf that can withstand weeds and drought conditions. In Part 16 of our Drought Solutions video series, we'll cover 6 microbial benefits and how those benefits directly contribute to both plant and soil health.
Microbial benefits in that soil profile. They stimulate existing soil microbes. Once you're established, you improve that bio-energy foundation.
That just means that now the inputs that we're putting into the soil are working for us at all times and the more organics that you're going through, the more energy, the more food sources that are there, the better it is for that soil to stay alive. It becomes stronger.
Your nutrient and water efficiencies, your holding capacity of that soil is much better. You reduce your disease and stress problems. Cause what's the first thing that comes in when you have a stressed area of turf?
Weeds. With healthy turf, you combat the weeds. So now you don't have any weeds. No weeds, a lot less stress on the plant, and your disease problem goes away.
Most diseases that you have in your turf plots were introduced by a foreign like a weed, something else. The turf varities that we have today are pretty disease-resistant. Back in the old days, you'd have real problems with disease. Today we've bred most of those out of our turf. So if there's a disease or a stress problem in there, it's usually brought in by a weed.
Improve your soil aggregation. Along with that, now you get a bio-diversity in your soil. So soil aggregation, you got your clay soil over here that's pretty bound up. You got my soil over here in Phoenix that's just this granite gravelly looking stuff. We like to have that soil sorta right in the middle and we call that a crummy soil. It's good, but it's crummy.
And a crummy soil is that soil that when you go and you grab a handful of it - if you go to a farm, if you go to a guy's agriculture field, the farmers they work their soil cause they understand this completely. The yield on their crop is directly based on how well their soil is prepared. And you go grab that soil and it's real nice, it falls apart in your hand. It's got some structure. It's got a little bit of moisture in it, but it falls apart. That's a real good soil.
With that soil aeration and aggregation, you get really, really enhanced rooting. And that's what we're all about, we need to get that root mass down into that soil profile. The bigger the root system in your soil profile, the better water holding capacity you have, the more drought resistant that plant is going to become.