We often think that plants are independent, that if they have light, water and soil they will be fine. Nothing could be further from the truth. In any forest, jungle, or even in the soil of the garden, there are microorganisms that, to a large extent, determine whether or not they can have access to a series of nutrients. And it is that without them the organic matter would take much, much longer to decompose.
Bacteria, fungi and viruses play a very important role for plants: in some cases they help them absorb nitrogen, an essential nutrient for them to grow; in others, they allow their seeds to germinate; and even in certain cases, they keep them strong and in good health. And it is that without soil microorganisms, the world in which we live would be very different. But, What are they and how can we attract them to the garden to make it look prettier and healthier?
What are soil microorganisms?
When they tell us about viruses, fungi or bacteria we tend to think of them as if they were enemies. Reasons are not lacking: throughout the history of humanity we have had to fight against these microorganisms on many occasions, and scientists say that we will have to continue doing so, and who knows if more frequently, if we do not stop deforesting and to harm the planet. But let’s not get sidetracked.
In the same way that there are beneficial bacteria in our body that help us, for example, to digest food, and there are others that cause diseases when they get out of control, there are also good and bad microorganisms for plants. Some of the beneficial for plants are:
- Rhizobium: is a bacterium that helps to fix nitrogen to the soil, allowing the roots to dispose of it.
- rhizoctonia: it is a fungus without which orchids cannot germinate.
- White clover cryptic virus (WCCV)): this is a virus that, when there is a very high concentration of nitrogen, prevents the clover from developing nodules that fix this nutrient, thus preventing it from wasting energy.
And if we want to know which are the ones that cause them damage, we will find that there are many. This is because the harmful microorganisms have been studied more than the beneficial ones. Therefore, it is easy to remember their names:
- Phytophthora: it is an oomycete (similar to a fungus) that lives in the soil, and that causes the death of the roots. Learn more.
- Pseudomonas syringae: is a bacterium that affects many plants, causing the appearance of brown or blackish spots on the leaves.
- puccinia grass (rust): It is a fungus that causes the appearance of little red bumps or spots, with a more or less rounded shape, on the leaves or on the body of the plants. Learn More.
- Tomato wilt virus (TSWY): It is a virus that mainly affects tomatoes, but it can also damage others such as peppers. It causes the fruits to have round spots all over their surface, and the leaves to turn yellow and/or become deformed. Learn more.
How can we attract microorganisms from the soil?
Soil rich in biodiversity is what I think we should all aim for when designing a garden. Why? Because it will be more difficult for plants to have pests and/or diseases. And that benefits us too, since it allows us to save money on products to combat them. So what can we do to attract them?
Well, although I am going to give you some advice, the first and most important is this:
Commitment to organic farming
The intensive use of fertilizers and pesticides is the worst enemy of soil biodiversity, and one of the main reasons why it becomes unsuitable for the vast majority of plants. What’s more, You have to think that these are chemical products that not only harm the flora and fauna that lives underground, but can also harm those that are above it..
For this reason, if we want to have a rich and healthy garden, we have to maintain the natural balance of the place, taking care of the plants with ecological productsAs the Organic fertilizers (manure, guano, humus, etc.) or authorized insecticides for organic farming, such as neem oil or diatomaceous earth, of which we leave you a video:
put some trees
Of all their qualities, trees have one in particular that favors, even more, the maintenance of soil biodiversity: and that is that on the one hand, their roots prevent erosion, and on the other, their shade helps them stay at a cooler temperaturesomething that comes in handy especially during the summer.
The best thing is that there are so many different species that it is possible to have even in small gardens. You do not believe me? Take a look at this article.
If you are one of those who throws pruning remains in the trash, we recommend that you stop doing so. The compost serves as an attractant for microorganisms.because they are the ones in charge of decomposing the branches, leaves, and other remains of organic matter. In addition, later it will serve to fertilize the plants and the garden.
So do not hesitate to prepare it. Click here to find out what steps you have to follow to make your own compost:
How to compost step by step
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