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Soil biodiversity - fermented soil that promotes plant growth and soil enrichment

In this article, I summarized how important soil microbial diversity is, along with the materials we added in making fermented soil.

What is fermented soil?

Soil biodiversity

Fermented soil is produced by decomposing and fermenting organic matter by microorganisms and contains abundant nutrients and a variety of microorganisms, which promote plant growth and enrich the soil. The main organic components that are decomposed by microorganisms during the fermentation (composting) process are lipids, carbohydrates, and low-molecular-weight nitrogen compounds.

Studies have shown that plants grown in fermented soil grow faster than plants grown in non-fermented soil. Fermented soil is rich in nutrients that are readily available to plants.

The main benefits include

Promotes plant growth

Improves soil agglomeration structure

Improves soil aeration and drainage

Improves soil water retention

Increase beneficial microorganisms

Inhibit the growth of pathogens

Improve soil fertility

We usually make fermented soil in the shed where we keep our raven chickens, and when the soil becomes too rich, we use it as a soil conditioner in our customers' gardens.

Things we have put in before

Charcoal, zeolite for fodder, 3 humus, 4 charcoal, 5 oil cake, 6 fallen leaves, and other organic matter - Fermentation accelerators and EM (effective microorganisms) liquid (in appropriate quantities if fermentation does not proceed too well)

Subsequent additions

Bamboo charcoal

Improve soil aeration and drainage

Improves water retention

Provides a home for microorganisms

Crab shell pellets

Contains calcium, phosphoric acid, and chitin

Promotes plant growth

Improves the soil's cohesive structure

Bamboo chips

Improves soil aeration and drainage

Improves water retention

Provides a home for microorganisms

Cedar chips

Regulates soil acidity

Improve aeration and drainage

Improve water retention

Bokashi pellets

Contains rich nutrients

Accelerates fermentation

Increases beneficial microorganisms

Rice bran

Rich in nutrients

Promotes fermentation

Increase beneficial microorganisms

Further promote fermentation by

fermented soil that promotes plant growth and soil enrichment

Thermographic temperature measurements showed that the dug-up area was nearly 50 degrees Celsius.

The conditions required for fermentation are

Temperature: Proper temperature conditions are necessary for fermentation to proceed efficiently. Too high a temperature will kill microorganisms, too low a temperature will slow down the fermentation process.

Moisture: The fermentation process requires adequate moisture. Insufficient moisture prevents fermentation from progressing, while excess moisture can lead to anaerobic conditions.

Oxygen: In aerobic fermentation, an adequate oxygen supply is important. Anaerobic fermentation shuts off oxygen.

Fermentation may not be as successful in the winter months, but moderate water mixing and stirring will accelerate the fermentation process.

How to make fermented soil

1. mix the ingredients

Mix the materials to be fermented. The type and mixture of ingredients can be adjusted to your preference.

2. add water

Add enough water to moisten the entire mixture. Too much moisture may result in anaerobic fermentation and bad odor. It is quite difficult to determine the amount of moisture, and since crow's-ear chickens do not like moisture very much, moisture is added little by little.

3. fermentation

The fermentation period can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the ingredients and temperature.

The heat generated during the fermentation process varies with the level of microbial activity, and it is important to maintain an appropriate temperature range. Generally, a temperature range of about 25°C to 40°C is appropriate for most fermentation processes. Within this temperature range, many microorganisms are active and can efficiently decompose and convert organic matter.

Aerobic fermentation: Progresses at relatively low temperatures (20°C to 30°C).

Anaerobic fermentation: Progresses at relatively high temperatures (40°C to 50°C).

Importance of Soil Biodiversity

Soil biodiversity

Soil may appear unchanged at first glance, but it is actually a world full of life, where invisible microorganisms are actively at work.

These microorganisms exist in thousands of varieties, each with unique capabilities, and each plays an important role in maintaining soil health.

Soil organisms play a variety of roles in supporting our lives, including

Nutrient cycling : Soil organisms break down organic matter that plants cannot use and cycle nutrients. This is essential for plant growth and a healthy ecosystem.

Soil fertility maintenance : Soil organisms maintain soil fertility by decomposing organic matter and providing nutrients to the soil.

Carbon fixation : Soil organisms fix atmospheric carbon dioxide into the soil, helping to reduce global warming.

Water conservation : Soil organisms improve soil aeration and water holding capacity, thereby contributing to water quality conservation.

Pest control : Soil organisms help protect plant health by controlling pathogens and pests.

Threats to Soil Biodiversity

Soil biodiversity has been declining in recent years due to agricultural intensification, deforestation, and climate change. This can cause a variety of problems such as soil fertility loss, water pollution, and global warming.

Protecting Soil Biodiversity

In order to protect soil biodiversity, the following efforts are needed

Conversion to organic agriculture : Reducing the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides and practicing organic agriculture will help produce crops without negatively impacting soil organisms.

Protect forests : Forests are a treasure trove of soil biodiversity. By protecting forests, we can help preserve habitats for soil organisms.

Improved soil management : Improved soil tillage and irrigation practices can promote the activity of soil organisms.

Organic matter decomposers Filamentous fungi, actinomycetes, and bacteria

Organic matter in the soil is plant and animal remains. These organic materials are decomposed by microorganisms and converted into nutrients that plants can use.

Filamentous fungi: A type of fungus, there are more than 100,000 species in the soil. They have a very high capacity to break down organic matter and are active in the early stages of compost fermentation. However, some species are pathogenic to lawns, so care must be taken.

Actinomycetes: There are more than 2,000 types of actinomycetes, which release antibiotics to suppress other bacteria and maintain the balance of bacteria in the soil. They can also break down complex organic matter that filamentous fungi could not.

Bacteria: The variety of bacteria is enormous, with DNA classification estimating that there are over 1 million species. They complete the final breakdown of organic matter and convert it into inorganic nutrients that plants can absorb.

Soil biodiversity is essential for numerous ecosystem services and functions, including nutrient cycling, decomposition of soil organic matter, carbon fixation, filtration and decomposition of water and soil pollutants, and even plant growth promotion.

4. Confirmation of Fermentation

When fermentation is complete, the soil temperature drops and the color turns brown. The soil also becomes fragrant and fluffy.

Fermentation is a process in which organic matter is decomposed by the action of microorganisms. As fermentation progresses, temperature changes occur, accompanied by the gradual emergence of various types of microorganisms.

  • Initial stage: Temperature rises, and heat-resistant filamentous fungi take an active role.

  • Middle stage: Actinomycetes proliferate, suppressing filamentous fungi and maintaining bacterial balance with antibiotics.

  • Late stage: Temperature drops, bacteria proliferate, and organic matter is finally decomposed.

During the fermentation process, various types of microorganisms are involved, efficiently decomposing organic matter and creating nutrient-rich soil.

Benefits and nutrients of fermented soil

Promotes plant growth

Improves soil compaction

Improves soil aeration and drainage

Improves soil water retention

Increases beneficial microorganisms

Suppresses the growth of pathogens

Suppression of disease outbreak: The coexistence of diverse microorganisms suppresses abnormal growth of pathogens.

Inhibition of bad odor: Suppresses the growth of putrefactive bacteria, thereby inhibiting the generation of bad odor.

Soil improvement effect: Decomposes macromolecules such as lignin, increases humus, and improves the soil's granular structure.

Decomposes organic materials in the fermentation process and produces intermediate metabolites such as organic acids and amino acids. This promotes soil fertility and plant growth by mixing fermented soil into the soil.

Organic acids and amino acids: These substances produced by fermentation help solubilize nutrients in the soil and improve nutrient absorption by plants.

Soil organic matter (SOM): SOM increased by the fermentation process improves the water holding capacity of the soil and provides a source of energy for microbial activity.

Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K): Fermentation of organic materials releases these nutrients into the soil in a form that is readily available to plants.

Strengthening the plant's immune system

Soil microorganisms can activate the plant immune system and increase resistance to pathogens and pests.

Soil microorganisms can provide nutrients that promote plant growth and help plants absorb water and nutrients from their roots.

Nutrient supply : Soil microorganisms break down organic matter that plants cannot use and convert nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus into forms that plants can easily absorb.

Promotes root development : Soil microorganisms promote the growth of plant roots, allowing them to absorb more water and nutrients.

Hormone regulation : Soil microorganisms produce hormones that promote plant growth and regulate plant hormone balance.

Protecting Plants from Pests

Direct attack of pests : Soil microorganisms can cause infections in pests and kill pest larvae.

Increase of natural enemies : Soil microorganisms increase the number of insects and nematodes that are natural enemies of pests.

Repellent effects : Soil microorganisms produce odors that pests don't like and keep them away from plants.

Soil microorganisms (e.g., rhizosphere bacteria and root fungi) can promote plant growth and provide broad-spectrum resistance to insect herbivores.

Maintain soil health.

Soil microorganisms break down organic matter to increase soil fertility and improve the soil's clumping structure. They are like doctors for soil health.

Decompose organic matter : Soil microorganisms decompose plant and animal remains and provide nutrients to the soil.

Improved soil aggregates : Soil microorganisms help to organize soil particles into clusters, which improves soil aeration and drainage.

Improved water quality : Soil microorganisms break down contaminants in the soil and improve water quality.

Thus, soil microorganisms not only protect plant health, but also play an important role in maintaining soil health.

Fermented soil provides rich nutrients and diverse microorganisms to the soil through anaerobic and aerobic fermentation, which promotes plant growth and enriches the soil.

When you put your hand in the fermented soil, you will feel a very gentle warmth.

Please give it a try.


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