Soil Is A Living System
Widespread use of chemical fertilizer (NPK) robs the soil of its living biology. This usually takes place in the modern mechanized method as a cycle of cultivation, seeding, synthetic fertilization, protection (spray) and harvesting.
- Compaction (from the heavy machinery) causes the need for more/deeper cultivation
- ‘plow sole’ leads to layer of hard-pan below the soil surface
- roots develop better in environment rich in old roots
- plow pan prevents roots from reaching this old root zone
- plants that are given fertilizer will always become diseased
The use of chemical fertilizer almost always results in the use of pesticides. The protective spray:
- suppresses the symptoms only
- a healthy plant is immune/resistant
- over-spray has detrimental effects on the (previously) healthy soil
Micorrhizal networks (hyphae) penetrate the soil micro-pores and even the fissures in the minerals.
- distant minerals, bound to Fe and Ca are now easier to absorb
- there may be as much as one mile of hyphae in a teaspoon of soil
- micorrhizal fungi can increase the soil capacity up to seven times in volume.
Healthy soil equals a healthy plant. Tillage (or ‘plowing’) slices and distresses the soil structure built by the symbiotic bacteria and fungi and their biotic glues -turning living soil into dirt. Those underground cities were home to a diverse ecosystem capable of providing all that is needed without chemical fertilizers.