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Are You Killing Your Soil’s Microbes? The Answer Might Surprise You

You are doing everything you can to improve the quality of your soil. You have invested in all the tools that the experts recommend, you are monitoring the soil quality closely, and you have added microbe fertilizer to enrich the soil’s natural microbe content. Your soil should be in great shape!

Unfortunately, though, something is wrong. What could it be? Despite everything you have done to enrich your soil, your plants are not growing and your soil is testing at all the wrong levels. If you are like many farmers and gardeners, you may be harming your soil without realizing it.

Potentially Harmful Practices

Are you creating a haven for your microbes, or the opposite? Even if you purchased and applied microbe-boosting products, you might be doing one of these harmful activities – and ruining all those efforts before they have the chance to benefit your garden or lawn:

  • Tilling – Tilling your garden may seem like a good idea, but it can be detrimental to the health of both the plants and the microbes that live around them. By tearing those plants roots from the soil, you are upsetting the microbial culture that exists there. This can kill microbes or cause an imbalance which can kill plant life.
  • Herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides – While using these chemical substances might be necessary in some instances, they should be used sparingly or avoided when possible. They can kill useful microbes and cause the same imbalance that leads to plant death as tilling.
  • Growing the same crops year after year. You have heard that rotating crops is good for the health of both those crops and the soil they grow in. But did you know that this is important to the life of the microbes living in that soil, as well? Growing the same crops in the soil for years on end will stagnate the soil and may reduce the number of helpful microbes living in it.

How Can You Fix These Problems?

All these issues are, thankfully, fixable. You can address them by introducing beneficial microbes to the soil and by avoiding the things that can kill them and throw off their balance. Take care of your microbes – they are doing more work than you might imagine!

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