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Soil improvement

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Soil improvement

Here you will find a list of all soil-improving products. These products are soil and worm friendly. In short, everything for the sustainable horticulturist and for the strongest crop.

What does a plant need to grow?

To grow a plant, a number of things are needed to make it a success. Just like us, plants also need vitamins and minerals. The best known are indicated in the letters N.P.K. You see these letters everywhere on packages and bags, but what do they actually stand for?

  • N
    stands for nitrogen. Nitrogen is necessary for the growth of a plant. A shortage of nitrogen causes the growth of plants to stop and leaves to fall off. In some plants the leaves turn purple instead of yellow

  • P
    stands for phosphorus. Phosphorus helps create roots and develop flowers and fruits. When there is a shortage of Phosphorus, the plant stops growing. if the leaves of the plant are too short for a long time, this usually starts at the bottom.

  • K
    stands for potassium. Potassium helps move water and nutrients in your plant. With a shortage of potassium, you can get weak plants due to a cell wall that is too thin. and can cause dehydration symptoms.

In addition to these 3, there are many more that are important.

  • Mg
    Stands for magnesium. Magnesium is an important building block of the green leaf dye of plants (chlorophyll). This is located in chloroplasts, the chloroplasts. Magnesium is also indispensable for the enzyme in the plant that ensures that it can be structurally formed from amino acids. A magnesium deficiency is first visible in the oldest leaves, which turn light yellow, with veins and leaf margins remaining green. The assimilation of a crop with a Mg deficiency lags behind, so it costs yield.

    Stands for Calcium. Calcium is the most important building block of membranes and cell walls for a plant. The nutrient element contributes to the sturdiness of a plant. And it is necessary for cell division. A calcium deficiency leads to various growth disorders, such as misshapen buds and leaves. the tips of the leaves curl upwards. Brown dots are also visible on the leaves. The deficiency starts in the new leaves, but the symptoms are first visible on the leaves.

    Stands for Sulfur. Sulfur is used in the plant for the synthesis of amino acids (cysteine, methionine), proteins and various other sulfur-containing compounds, such as thiols (glutathione), sulfolipids and secondary sulfur compounds (alliins, glucosinolates, phytochelatins), which play an important role in the physiology of plants and in the protection against and adaptation of plants to abiotic and biotic stress.

    eficiency of sulfur results in the loss of plant fitness and resistance to environmental stress, disease and damage, as well as food quality and safety.

Why not use artificial fertilizer?

Main elements of fertilizer are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur and magnesium. So why is fertilizer so bad?

Inside All kinds of things happen in the plant to get the right nutrition to the right place. The substances are transported inside the plant throughout the day. once this stops, the plant may have a problem if the reserves are depleted.

This is no different in the soil. Numerous processes take place in the soil so that the plant has access to important nutrients. In short, the soil is full of life such as fungi, bacteria, worms, nematodes (nematodes) and protozoa. All this life in the soil hunts each other eat each other and thereby excrete substances that are beneficial for one or, for example, plants. this is how the nutrients for plants are made.

This is a natural process that keeps itself instant.

But, why not use artificial fertilizer?

Fertilizer disrupts this whole process. Fertilizer initially provides the necessary nutrition to plants and the plants can grow well. but fertilizer is a chemical that also contains salts, among other things. These salts kill the soil life or scare them away. this makes it impossible or increasingly difficult to allow the natural process to take place. with the result that you need more fertilizer to achieve the same result, with the result that you disturb even more soil life. and then the vicious circle is complete.

Why is worm manure good?

Worm manure contains only a modest amount of NPK, so why does it work well? This is because you feed the soil with worm manure. When you feed the soil, the soil with all its critters can make the food for the plants and maintain itself. In other words, by adding worm manure to the soil, the soil can make its own NPK and artificial addition is not necessary. It is therefore not interesting to see how much NPK is in worm manure.

In addition, worm manure already contains many important bacteria and fungi that can immediately start eating and being eaten in the soil. During these processes they make food for each other and plants. This is also known as the Soil Food Web. Another immediate reading tip is the book 'Soil food web' for anyone who wants to understand the soil better.

Why lava flour?

Lava flour improves the structure and fertility of the soil. Together with the organic matter from worm manure and soil life, lava meal forms stable clay-humus complexes and soil aggregates.

What are soil aggregates?

The clumping of primary particles due to moisture, including clay, lime, etc. This makes clay soil more fluid and allows water to pass through better. Sandy soil can retain nutrients and water better and peat soil is stabilized against degradation.

Plants are not just N.P.K. necessary, but also a good soil full of minerals. Due to long-term fertilizer use, the necessary minerals in the soil are missing over time. The soil is exhausted and fertilizer has less and less effect. Restoring the soil and soil life with worm manure and lava meal then has a better result than just continuing with expensive fertilizer which is bad for the environment.

The fungi present in worm manure look for minerals in the soil and give them back to the plants and the plants give back sugars to the fungus. Many of these trace elements are contained in lava flour.

This means you can always use lava meal and worm manure for all plants and soils. Except acid-loving plants such as Rhododendron, Azalia and Heather.

These plants can tolerate lava flour, but it is better to halve the dosage. The nutrients that the soil makes for the plant can develop better in a more acidic soil.

Why use Guano or Mealworm fertilizer with a high NPK?

Healthy soil provides nutrition for the plants, but you can give them a helping hand. This is possible with products such as Mealworm Manure Guano and Blood Meal.

As long as you use organic products and let the soil convert it for the plants, this can yield an extra green lawn or an extra large pumpkin. This is also the big advantage of worm manure, you can give it with all kinds of different organic fertilizers. And there should also be an alarm bell ringing when this is not possible with a fertilizer.

Can't I just use Guano or Mealworm fertilizer?

Very easily said if there is no life in the soil, the plant can do little with the added fertilizers. We first need the countless critters that live in the soil to convert the fertilizers for plants. That is why the tip is always feed the soil first, then the rest for the best result.

It is therefore not necessary to feed the soil with other fertilizers in addition to worm manure and lava meal. As long as the bottom is fit, she makes it herself.

To the question for which plants is worm manure suitable for, the answer would be all plants that need a soil to grow.

When to feed and fertilize the soil?

The best time to apply worm casting to the soil is now if it has not already been done. The soil needs nutrients all year round to nourish itself and the plants. If you do it every year, spring and autumn are 2 good times. This gives the soil time to convert it for the plants present.

Fertilizing products such as mealworm manure and guano give you just in the growing season. That is when the plant is growing and flowering. at this time, the plant can best use the fertilizer.

green manure

Besides that the organic matter does not just blow off the bottom when it is fallow light. The green manure that is present also nourishes the soil. The fungus that gives minerals to the roots of plants get sugars from the plants that grow on land. If there are no plants, the fungus will not receive any sugars. causing stagnation in the soil. This is just one example of what happens when the land is left bare.

Source entry:

dr. L.J. de Kok
Book: Teaming with Microbes