microbe-homesSoil dwelling organisms use and rearrange the raw materials in their environment to construct their homes - and they are not all that different from ours.

With their excretions microbes glue the sand, silt and clay particles of the soil together to create chambers: large chambers for air, smaller chambers to store water, and space enough for their populations to flourish.

Gardeners spend millions of dollars each year to mechanically aerate their lawns because the soil has become so compact that grass roots don’t have enough air. But the aerator is the wrong tool - what the lawn really needs is microbial diversity.

As the microbes rearrange the soil particles to build themselves homes, they also create the ideal mix of soil pores to provide sufficient air for themselves and for plant roots.

In a healthy lawn, repeated aerating is actually counterproductive, as it constantly destroys what the microbes have worked so hard to create.

Of all the ecosystems, healthy, biodiverse grasslands are the most effective in building topsoil and accumulating carbon in the soil. This is something to consider, as we are concerned about the climatic effect of carbon emissions.

We go much deeper into this topic in our online course, which you can discover here:

Organic Master Gardener Online