The soil food Web Bringing life to your soil

Sustainable gardeners talk about soil not just as a physical and chemical medium but as a living soil food web: beneficial fungi, bacteria, earthworms, insects, and other organisms that partner up with plants to make them thrive. All these critters build soil structure and work to retain nutrients and convert them into forms plants can use. Without life in the soil, plants barely survive. Check out Figure 16-1 for a visual.

Your job as the sustainable gardener is to create the conditions for the soil food web to thrive. You also must reinoculate damaged soils with the life they need. Do this by incorporating living compost, mycorrhizal fungus, beneficial soil bacteria, and humic acids into the soil at planting time. How? Look for a good organic fertilizer that lists these elements on the label. Any good nursery carries at least one brand. Also recognize that common activities such as grading, fertilizing with chemicals, and using herbicides and pesticides have a toxic effect on soil organisms, so use them sparingly (if at all).

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

Homeowners Guide To Landscaping

How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.

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