Healthy soil is a living dynamic Substance! Soil is sand, silt, clay, air, water, minerals and organic matter crawling with earthworms, moles, grubs, centipedes, millipedes, snails, slugs, beetles, ants, fungi, insect larvae, bacteria, mushrooms and many other organisms. The “liveliest” soils are the best soils. Moles, shrews, mice, are some of the larger mammals along with millions of insects which spend at least part of their life cycles in the soil. Earthworms, sowbugs, mites, centipedes, millipedes and spiders also live in the soil. In addition, there are many organisms living in the soil that are so small that they cannot be seen without a microscope.
All of the organisms that live in the soil are such an important part of the continuous, natural process of decomposing organic materials and preparing the soil for future plant growth that we cannot talk about soil without including all of the living things. When organisms consume food, they create more of their own biomass and they release waste. The most important waste for crops growth is ammonium.
Of all the countless billions of organisms that live in an acre of soil, earthworms are perhaps the most significant group of larger organisms. Earthworms can range in number from a few hundred to more than a million per acre. They digest organic matter, recycle nutrients and can make the surface soil richer. Earthworm tunnels can have a positive impact by creating “macro-pores” to aid the movement of water through the soil. They also help incorporate organic matter into the mineral soil to make more nutrients available to plants.
So the big question is: Do your soils exhibit healthy activity that will greatly benefit your crops?
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