When you have a keen observation of plants' growth, you will notify the difference in the growth of plants. Some plants will be growing really well and some will be really struggling to grow. This is mainly due to the difference in the growing media of plants.
Yes, the base soil will make all the difference. If the soil is healthy and fertile plant will be robust enough. If the soil used is not healthy and fertile, then your plants will get nothing from it to grow well. That's why understanding the soil is very important for any plant grower. Here we will explain what is healthy and living soil, what is organic soil, and how it helps your plant's growth in many ways.
Soil is not a simple matter on the mother earth as it looks. It is a very complex thing formed on earth. The soil has billions of microorganisms. It took millions of years for nature to form a fertile soil that can support life on earth.
If you have a habit of trucking, you may notice that plants in the forest grow really well. You might be having a question that who will take care of these plants that grow so well. Even after providing all the necessary inputs for your plants at home. They will not grow so well as in their natural habitat.
If we look closely at how the natural ecosystem works in the forest. It is really fascinating how every living organism is interlinked. So many animals from ants to elephants live together; they give their excreta, dead animals eventually buried in the soil. Plant leaves and branches fall off on the ground. All this waste matter will be converted by so many microorganisms and tiny insects present in the soil. All these creatures work effortlessly and finally convert the waste matter into what is called compost. This is nothing but organic matter.
Organic matter or compost is the main reason behind every plant's healthy growth in the forest. Soil present in the forest will have a good amount of organic matter. That's why plants in the forest thrive happily.
Important components of soil:
Soil consists of four important components. They are organic matter, inorganic matter, and soil air and soil water.
Organic matter: partially decayed, partially decomposed plant, and the animal residue is called organic matter.
Like human beings, even plants also want food and nutrition for growth and development. Plants will obtain these nutrients through organic matter. When you mix organic matter in the soil, plants will be able to absorb the nutrients and establish well. That's why the first component of soil i.e. organic matter becomes very important.
Criteria to select the fertile soil:
There are many criteria for choosing fertile soil. They are color, compactness, and smell.
- Color: fertile soils usually will have a dark color. Like dark red, dark grey, deep black. If you know this you can choose the right soil for your plants.
2.Compactness: soil containing organic matter will be compact enough to form a shape. When you try to break, it should break easily. If it makes a different shape when you try to break it, then it is too compact.
3.Smell: a healthy soil smells like earth, it will not be having an unpleasant odor. Odorless soil may not contain any organic matter.That's why when you try to collect some easily available soil; you need to have a check.
Dead soil into live soil:
There are many ways to convert dead soil or unfertile soil into live or fertile soil. The best way to do this is the bokashi composting.
You can use your kitchen waste to prepare organic manure by the bokashi method. Here microorganisms work anaerobically to convert waste into manure. The main difference between the traditional method of composting and bokashi composting is that conversion of waste into manure is fast. It will be the noblest job if you prepare compost at your home.
If you cannot prepare compost at home, you can buy it from known sources. If you decided to buy manure online buy from a reputed brand. Have a look at what people are talking about the brand. Buy a small quantity and test it if you are satisfied you can buy again. Definitely adding compost to your soil will greatly help your plants to grow well.
Preparation of organic manure:
Naturally, organic manure is plants and animals waste. If we consider cow dung manure, or sheep, goat manure, those animals eat the grass, in their stomach, many enzymes will work on the digestion. Whatever excreta come out of it will be rich in many nutrients. When nature allows it to decompose for a few more days, it will add a good number of nutrients to the soil.
Artificially manure or compost is prepared by letting the animal and plant waste to decompose for a few months, to reduce the higher concentration of nutrients, which may affect your plants if applied directly. So the decomposed and decayed animal residue will form the manure.
In the case of vermicomposting, cow dung and plant waste is fed to the earthworms. They will eat this waste, digest and give their excreta as the rich organic manure called vermicompost. Nutritionally vermicompost is far superior to other kinds of manures and supports plant growth and development.
Mixing compost with the dead soil:
When you mix vermicompost or any other organic manure into the soil, essentially you have mixed millions of microorganisms into your soil. It makes the dead soil into the living soil.
Importance of microorganisms for plants:
When you apply manure to your soil, plants will not be able to absorb all the nutrients present in it. Because some nutrients will be in an unavailable form. Plants cannot easily absorb the unavailable form of nutrients and utilize it for their growth. Therefore microorganisms take an important role here to convert the unavailable form of nutrients into the available form of nutrients and help your plants to absorb the nutrients from the soil and to support the growth.
An example of such a microbe is phosphorus solubilizing bacteria. Which converts the unavailable form of phosphorus to the available form and helps the plant's grow.
If you mix some good organic manure into your soil, many microorganisms will work and convert unavailable nutrients to available form. Therefore it is very essential to check whether your soil is dead or alive before planting.
When you have live soil many microorganisms work on your behalf and help your plants to grow well. That's why healthy, fertile, and alive soil is very important for any plant's growth and development. Always choose the right soil for your plant to succeed in gardening.
Watch the below video where we explain the organic matter of soil in detail.