By Nicole Wise on Feb 1, 2013 11:30:00 AM
Most microbes are invisible to the naked eye, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Having a healthy dosage of microbes in the soil is necessary for healthy plants.
Microbes are single celled and can include things such as bacteria or fungi.
Making certain that your soils have a harmonious balance of microbes leads to superior plant health and ensures that your clients are receiving superior results. Let’s take a look at some of the amazing things microbes do for you and your turf and ornamentals.
What can soil microorganisms do for you?
No matter how much nitrogen you dump on to a field of grass, nothing will happen if you don’t have the right microorganisms present.
This is because nitrogen, in its present form, can’t be utilized by the plant. Plants rely on a specific microbe called nitrogen-fixing bacteria that transform your nitrogen into nitrates (the form usable by plants).
The same thing goes for phosphorus. Microbes are in charge of turning phosphorus into phosphates (the usable form by the plants).
What happens when these bacteria aren’t present to help transform your nitrogen and phosphorus into a usable form for the plant? You don’t want to know!
Flora and Nematodes
Other interesting microbes include normal flora and nematodes. Normal floras are beneficial bacteria. Having these guys around helps increase the plant’s natural ability to fight off disease pathogens. On the other hand, beneficial nematodes are microbes that eat pathogenic or harmful microorganisms and excrete nutrients. Without the help of these two bacteria and others like them, the plant would have little defense against disease and insects.
Mycorrhizae form mutulistic relationships with the plant whereby, mycorrhizae increases mineral, nutrient and moisture uptake by the roots in exchange for sugars (the food source for mycrorrhizae). By aiding in root development, mycorrhizae contributes to a turf's ability to resist stress from weather (like a drought!), disease, weeds, insects and traffic.
Do you have an amble supple of soil microbes?
Microbes are astounding critters, necessary to plant wellness. Ensuring that you have an ample supply of these in your soil is vital if you want to nurture plant health.
To learn how healthy the biology of a customer’s soil is, try having a soil test done. They are cheap and can reveal why certain lawns aren’t taking to your lawn care program.
Then, try investing in a product that carries some of the beneficial microbes your lawns need to thrive.