kelly@chesapeakegreenfarms.com

        401 487-4147

191 Bow Wood Dr  Heathsville, VA 22473

Soil Fertility: Some hot stuff

December 23, 2017

 

    Soil is a living environment vital for sustaining agricultural growth.  To create a healthy organic soil is actually a complex process that involves the combination of plant materials, manure, micro-organisms, heat and time to create humus that enriches the soil.

    Humus is the dark black matter that when added to soil stabilizes the texture, promotes air, and water circulation and is a nutrient reserve for plants.  In addition, humus support growth of an essential organism called mycorrhizal fungi.

    Fungi are heterotropic organisms, and must absorb their food. Fungi also have the ability to easily absorb elements such a phosphorus and nitrogen which are essential for life. Plants are autotropic, producing their food in the form of carbohydrates through the process of photosynthesis. However, plants often have difficulty obtaining and absorbing many of the essential nutrients needed for life, specifically nitrogen and phosphorus.
In order to maximize both organisms abilities to thrive most plants allow, and indeed require, mycorrhizal fungi to colonize their roots. In this symbiotic and intimate relationship the hyphae of the fungus greatly increases the surface area that is open to nutrient and water absorption, maximizing the plants access to these essential compounds and elements. In return, the plant supplies the fungus with carbohydrates for use as energy.

    So we compost our kitchen scraps, plant materials, rabbit and poultry manure as well as the duck and chicken egg shells into steaming piles to create the humus for our garden soil.

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