How to help your soil to be teaming with beneficial soil microbes

Welcome to our March 2017 SoilMatrix Newsletter – the importance of Soil Microbes edition.
This month’s newsletter contains some wonderful surprises that arrived in my email this past week.   I want to share them with you.  The first surprise was a blog written by Donna Balzer,  an award winning television host, speaker, CBC gardening expert, consultant, and journalist.   Donna and I recently had a great discussion about the potential for using biochar as a soil amendment to improve the soil’s ability to retain nutrients and moisture and, moreover, to create a welcoming home for plant friendly microbes and fungi.   Donna’s blog includes a video in which Donna demonstrates how to inoculate your biochar to take maximum advantage of biochar’s ability to carry soil microbes to your soil.  A link to the video in Donna’s blog is available by clicking here.
The second surprise was another blog written by Rob Avis of Verge Permaculture.  In this blog, Rob provides some wonderful resources for learning more about how important it is to encourage beneficial soil microbes to move into our gardens to support plants, trees, flowers, or vegetables, to be healthier and more resilient against diseases and pests.  Click here to go to the Verge Permaculture blog or here to view a video clip included in Rob’s blog were Mike Dorion of Living Soil Solutions provides a detailed discussion on how this can all be accomplished with some basic permaculture methods.
Both of these blogs highlight the importance of the “Soil Food Web” to encourage healthy vibrant and nutritious plants.   The USDA provides a great info graphic to illustrate the various components of a healthy soil.  Notice that “organic matter” is the starting point for bacteria and fungi to thrive.   Biochar is one ingredient that can boost your soil’s organic matter in a way that stimulates these beneficial microbes to thrive.

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