Proper field amending/prep is a laborsome, complex and multi-stage process that is often misunderstood; and its importance is nearly always underestimated. The old school approach of feeding the plant is being replaced with the more sustainable approach of feeding the soil. Properly fed soil means the restoration of the natural organisms in the soil to recreate a restored, close to natural environment. Over time the soil will approach equilibrium and when done correctly will become more self-sustaining and drastically reduce fertilizer needs/costs.
First and foremost, at Key To Life we believe in the proven concept of feeding the soil, not just feeding the plant. There is a lot more going in your soil than even a comprehensive lab analysis will tell you as nutrients are just the surface of a much deeper food web. There are layers upon layers of bacterial, fungal and entomological communities that must work in harmony in order to achieve balance and consistency from season to season. Not to mention many different ways soil & these biological communities interact with minerals, ion charge, pH, nutrient availability, water retention, oxygenation and many more important factors plants need to thrive.
When we feed the soil, we are talking about rebuilding the complete soil food web. Some examples of soil building blocks include:
- Humic and Fulvic Acid which help naturally “break down” what’s already in the soil into a more carbon-based form that can be more easily uptaken by plants, or transported via the soil food web
- Amino Acids are used to reduce the action potential of chemical reactions, requiring less energy input by plants to achieve their chemical needs.
- Minerals like silicates to restore pH balance and long-term nutrient delivery.
- Inoculates with active bacterial and fungal individuals work together to fix molecules from the atmosphere, break-down or “reduce” what is in the soil already, and help deliver those nutrients across cell walls directly into plants and their root systems.
If you push too hard in any one direction nutritionally, you run the risk of the balance shifting in your soil that will cause a snowball effect of degradation not just in your soil, but in the surrounding environment as well. Your inputs/amendments are EXTREMELY important, and they all must work in unison together.