- March 1, 2018
- By Mike
- In Lawns, Soil
I spent some time with a very skilled microbiologist who tought me to use a microscope primarily to analyse and brew compost teas teeming with micro organisms to apply to lawns. I came away with a better understanding than i had and made some major changes to my ways of working. So i thought id share some of that passion and knowledge and learning here to help you understand why we do what we do.
Beautiful lawns don’t just happen it takes a lot of work to get turf healthy. Its not lawn treatments, scarifying, aerating and top dressing im referring to but the wonderful world of microbes!
Now i feel i must be correct here as i may cause some confusion fertilizing, aeration, scarifying, mowing all help to create a healthy lawn. But the reality is without the microbes nothing would be as effective. Without them there can be no life.
Microbes are very small forms of life so small that you need specific microscopes to see and my are they amazing! they vary but are generally single celled organisms that fall under several species.
The most common of these species for turf are bacteria, fungi, algae and protozoa which are found generally where the food sources are most abundant in the surface areas of top soil. It is said that one teaspoon of healthy soil can contain more microbes than all of mankind! Kind of puts things into perspective.
When you look at the job microbes do you can begin to realize just why they are so important and why at heritage we care so much about them. As organisms they decompose organic matter which is their function but they also detoxify harmful chemicals help make nitrogen available in the soil keep diseases suppressed but also break down and unlock nutrient compounds which would otherwise be in accessible.
Are Microbes Important?
Simply yes they are without microbes nothing could exist plants and animals simply could not survive. Microbes are responsible for decomposing organic matter such as wood, leaves, feces and any other organic materials such as insects. They also consume nutrients like NPK once they consume an element its through digestion that they create a form of that element a plant can absorb. They recycle the nutrients and play a crucial role in mineralization. Mineralizaton is the process of returning nutrients to a mineral form which simply is converting an element into a plant available nutrient form. The most important of these elements is nitrogen microbes have the ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into a nitrate form!
Microbes in your lawn
So we have established they create nutrients from thin air! and break down the dead things into a food source for plants. But the other amazing and vital role they play is to improve the quality of the soil itself. Through digestion of organic material microbes produce Humus which can remain in the soil for millennium. Humus helps retain soil moisture and increase root penetration and development. They also aid the structure of the soil by secreting gums, polysaccharides and glycoproteins as aggregates which glue the soil minerals together giving soil its structure. This is why we work so hard at delivering a bio sustainable feed program designed to boost the microbial life in your lawn. We also offer a separate microbial treatment for your lawn which we can apply as a spray from late spring through summer to early autumn. By applying high concentrations of microbial life in combination with our bio lawn treatments we can boost the overall health of your turf and increase thatch reduction and overall long term sustainability of your green space.
Cost vs Quality
You really get what you pay for with a lawn treatment. Working the Heritage way means we make it our business to manage your microbial life.