How To Build Soul Soil


It’s not just dirt! Your soil is alive and the foundation of every lawn, garden, and woodland. It is filled with Mother Earth's Soul, and our collective souls. The creatures living in the soil are critical to soil and plant health. They are central to decomposition and nutrient cycling that affect root growth, affect soil structure, erosion, and water availability, and protect plants from pests and disease.

The soil community

The soil community is made up of incredible diversity, including bacteria, algae, fungi, and beneficial nematodes to the visible earthworms, insects, small vertebrates—and of course, plants! As these organisms eat, grow, and move through the soil, they create a healthy environment for your plants.

Fungi

These microscopic cells usually grow as long threads and strands called hyphae, which push their way between soil particles, roots, and rocks. Hyphae sometimes group into mycelium. Fungi perform important tasks in the soil including moving water and nutrients, decomposing organic matter, and disease suppression.

Mycorrhizal fungi colonize the roots of plants. In exchange for carbon from the plant, mycorrhizal fungi help bring soil nutrients and water to the plant. It is thought that these fungi also help plants communicate with each other.

Bacteria

A teaspoon of healthy soil could contain between 100 million and 1 billion bacteria. Bacteria are decomposers that convert energy in the soil’s organic matter into forms that benefit the entire soil food web. Some bacteria form symbiotic relationships with the roots of legumes, creating nodules. The plant supplies simple carbon to the bacteria, and the bacteria converts the nitrogen from the air into a form the plant can use. When the leaves and roots from the host plant decompose, soil nitrogen increases in the surrounding area.

Invertebrates