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  • Writer's pictureLizé Groenewald

How to increase microorganisms in your soil for soil health.

If you're a gardener or farmer, you understand how important healthy soil is. Increasing the number of microorganisms in your soil is one way to accomplish this. Microorganisms, which include bacteria, fungi, and protozoa, play an important role in soil health. They aid in the decomposition of organic matter, the fixation of nitrogen, the improvement of soil structure, and the suppression of plant diseases.


Here are some tips on how to increase the vitality of your soil:




Use organic matter

Adding organic matter to your soil is one of the most effective ways to boost microorganisms. Compost, leaves, grass clippings, and kitchen scraps are just a few examples of organic matter. Microorganisms degrade organic matter, releasing nutrients that plants can use. The more organic matter you incorporate into your soil, the more microorganisms you will have.




Avoid using chemicals

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides harm soil microorganisms. Instead of synthetic fertilizers, try organic fertilizers like compost or manure. Organic fertilizers release nutrients more slowly, but they provide a consistent supply over time. Also, try to use pesticides as little as possible if at all and rather opt for natural DIY pesticides. Pesticides can kill off lots of necessary beneficial microorganisms, exposing your soil and ultimately your plants to diseases.


Practice crop rotation

Crop rotation is a technique that involves planting different crops in the same location each year. This aids in the prevention of soil-borne disease development. Different crops have different nutrient requirements, which can aid in the nutrient balance of the soil. Rotating crops promotes the growth of a diverse community of microorganisms in your soil.


Use cover crops

Cover crops are plants that are grown specifically for soil improvement. During fallow periods, they are frequently used to help control erosion, suppress weeds, and add nutrients to the soil. Beneficial insects and microorganisms benefit from cover crops as well. Clover, rye, and buckwheat are some popular cover crops because of how they can reintroduce nutrients back into the soil.


Don’t over-till

Tilling has the potential to disrupt soil structure and harm microorganisms. Instead of tilling, try a no-till or low-till method. No-till farming entails leaving the soil as undisturbed as possible. Low-till farming involves using as little tillage as possible to disturb the soil. Reduced tillage helps to preserve the microorganisms already present in your soil.


Mulch your soil

Mulching is the process of covering your soil with an organic material such as straw, leaves, or wood chips. Mulch aids in the retention of moisture in the soil, the suppression of weeds, and the regulation of soil temperature. It also serves as a haven for microorganisms. Mulch decomposes and releases nutrients that plants can use.



Finally, increasing the number of microorganisms in your soil is critical for soil health. By following these guidelines, you can cultivate a thriving ecosystem in your soil that benefits both your plants and the environment. Remember to amend your soil with organic matter, avoid using chemicals, rotate your crops, use cover crops, reduce tillage, and mulch your soil. You'll be well on your way to creating healthy soil for years to come if you do this.


Have you ever had to take drastic measures to increase your soil health, and how did you do it? Let us know via our website www.overbergarborists.com


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