Soil Health is Plant Health

“To be a successful farmer one must first know the nature of the soil.” 

Xenophon, Oeconomicus

Soil - the foundation of life

In the intricate dance of life on Earth, where every step is taken on a soil foundation, a silent but profound symbiosis exists beneath our feet and the verdant life it sustains.

International Day of Plant Health reminds us that plants are life. We depend on them for 80 percent of the food we eat and 98 percent of the oxygen we breathe. But this wonderful world of plants and the life they sustain through the food they provide and the air we breathe wouldn’t be possible without soil.

A Universe beneath our feet

Soil is home to a bustling, vibrant universe of countless lifeforms, and plants depend on these ecosystem partners while they live (for aerating the soil, synthesizing nutrients) and even after they die (their bodies are converted into humus – the Black Gold in soil). Simply put, soil health is plant health; and as such, plants nurture the teaming communities of microbes and small creatures that live below the grade.

It takes a village

The success of a plant relies on a symbiosis between its roots and billions of microscopic soil dwelling organisms (such as various bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi and protozoa). As these microbes forage (and ultimately perish) in soil, they produce copious amounts of ammonia. Specialized bacteria then convert this abundant nitrogen resource into Nitrate (the form of Nitrogen that plants need).
Microbial soil partners are “hired” by plants; their nutrient synthesis work is paid for with surplus glucose (sugar) produced through photosynthesis. Plants use the glucose they synthesize in their leaves as “currency” in their environment; they trade their abundant sugar with selected soil microbes - who in turn perform tasks plants cannot do themselves (such as converting raw materials in the soil into plant nutrients).

The mycelial network, searching for things plants need, captures the nitrate produced by bacterial colonies and transports this vital resource into plant roots. This fungal transport system is plugged directly into plant roots; these specialized fungal root partners are called ‘Mycorrhiza”. Plants installed into disturbed soil landscapes need mycorrhizal partnerships, nutrient-producing bacteria, and foraging soil fauna to function optimally. It takes a ‘village’ in the soil to raise a plant.

A vision for the future

Regrettably, modern agricultural practices and urban construction are rapidly eroding and destroying soil life, primarily through chemical fertilizer application and soil disruption (such as cultivation and compaction). The urgency to protect our soil is clear. Root Rescue Transplanter offers a proven solution , acting as a second set of roots for plants and performing functions plants cannot do alone, thereby aiding in the restoration of dead or damaged soil.      

As we reflect on the significance of soil on this International Day of Plant Health, let us envision a future where holistic and organic methods of treating soil are the norm. This shift in our approach holds the promise of a better life for all on Earth, inspiring us to take action for the betterment of our planet. 

Learn More On our youTube Channel

Root Rescue Learning Channel

There's More To Explore

Visit our blog for more tips and information on Sustainable Growing

What’s Really Under Your Feet?

The Best Way To Grow Healthy Plants In Suburban Soils

Create A Sustainable No-Till Garden