Not all microbes are bad. Human bodies contain about as many microbial cells as actual human cells. This is called the human microbiome. We live symbiotically with the microbes. We actually could not live without them!
Our microbiome shifts as we change our diet and environment. We receive healthy microbes from good, aerobic (oxygenated) soil. This is another great reason to get out in your garden!
Beneficial microbiology in the soil is important to hold nutrients in the soil and make them available to the plants. Measuring the microbial life in the soil is an important part of soil management. You can’t manage what you don’t measure!
With the Nutrition Farming for Hawaii project, I measured the soil microbiology using my microscope when we were getting started with the garden in the spring. Bacterial counts were only about 100 per slide field.
We amended the soil with the needed minerals and fertilizers. These are very important to feed the microbes, as well as the plants. Some minerals, like cobalt (which is rarely tested, but is on a Nutrition Grown™ soil analysis), are critical for microbes. The microbes will not be there without the nutrients they need! We also added a microbial inoculant to help get things going.
Retesting of soil is done every 6 months, including microbiology. Our latest analysis showed 1500 bacteria per slide field. A 1500% increase!
If you like this post, please leave a comment and share on your favorite social media by clicking an icon below. Thanks, Dr. Jana