Early Spring Fertilizer Newsletter

I can’t remember when I enjoyed the chirping of the birds and the peeping of the frogs so much, even when I was a kid and could run like the wind in my new sneakers. After a long winter, the feel of soft earth beneath the feet must have delighted humans since forever. Today, you received the first application of soy fertilizer. It has to be broken down by the soil biology before the nutrients are taken up by the plants.

When the grass greens up and the trees finally leaf out, it’s a wonderful sight. But it is what you don’t see that gets things rolling. Remember it’s the microbes behind the curtain that are pulling the strings. There are billions of tiny creatures in a teaspoon of soil and they get very busy as things warm up. Bacteria fix nitrogen from the air and soil and make it available to the roots. They are also consumed by the protozoa and nematodes who slough off extra nitrogen for the plants. Fungi coat the roots and transport mineral nutrients and water. Research shows they spread among the tree roots and allow them to communicate. Meanwhile, plants capture sunlight and CO2 to produce sugars that are put out through their roots to attract the fungi and other microbes. When everyone works together, the world is a beautiful place.

“If bacteria can be pictured as teeming black ants under the microscope, imagine fungi as gossamer spider webs. These organisms form long threads called hyphae that stretch between plant roots. Some form into even larger masses called mycelium that can span an entire backyard.”

― 

Amy Stewart, The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms

In an organic program, it is important to mow the grass as high as possible and leave the clippings. The only way to get deep roots is to provide the plant with plenty of leaf surface to capture sunlight and manufacture food through photosynthesis. If the spring cleanup has not been done and you would like us to go back, that’s not a problem.