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Living Soil

What all of this comes down to his creating your soil, taking care of your soil, nurturing, stimulating and cultivating the diversity of life in that soil so that it flourish, reproduce and connects together to create its own diverse ecosystem.

Its important to remember that the soil you build is in constant motion and that motion only multiplies as time goes by. This process is managed mostly by microscopic life (which I like to call the true farmers) is really amazing.

Now mulching and top dressing is very important to a notill garden. Mulching returns organic materials and nutrients to the soil and is what drives the process and what is the continual source of organic matter into your soil and the food source for soil life which in turn ends up in the plants you will grow.

Planting a cover crop at the beginning of each cycle its highly recommended. The added roots throughout the topsoil also aerates and harbors soil life itself through the exudates in which the cover crop roots excretes. Once the cover crop becomes mulch and its completely incorporated back into the soil. A cover crop also as the added benefit of being the first line of defense of detecting an infestation.

Enzymes begin to break down your mulch and top dress material converting it into a more basic material to then be consumed by bacteria, fungi, actinomycetes an anaerobil bacteria noted for a filamentous and branching growth pattern that results, in an extensive colony that we know as mycelium.

Starches to sugars for example in the case of amylase an enzyme that converts starch into sugars. The sugar then being readily consumed by bacteria. Arthropods such as spring tail, millipedes, poly poly and a long list of soil mites along with yet more microbes also facilitate in the deconstruction of organic matter (your mulch layer) which is converted into what we know as humus. It is now available for your worm community to come to the surface and consume. Now this is where the worm power comes into play, in the worms gut it is further broken down via an enzymatically driven process (including enzyme creating bacteria that reside in the gut of the worm to further move along). This deconstructed organic matter then passes through the worm and is deposited throughout your soil, providing for a constant source of aeration in the process. The worm castings left behind are now a humus which is perfectly compartmentalized with greater surface coverage allowing for an increase in further microbial activity. Nutrients are mineralized, stabilized, and both made available to plants and stores away in organic compounds for the long haul (think slow release nutrients). Enzymes and humates are all increased in quantity because of this natural process along with encouraging further diversity and activity in the microbial communities.

So can you see now the benefit of notill when thinking long term soil improvement, nutrient retention, microbial stimulation and an ideal medium for optimal plant growth. You see how the concept of feeding this or that at a specific time in a plants life becomes mostly irrelevant. The sad part concept of flushing proving utterly pointless and even detrimental. Can you see how the extreme of soil is changed over time by these trillions of life forms and when left in place is thus structured to be the perfect communal home for roots and soil like life alike. You see your soil is 100% alive and in constant motion, in a constant state of being deconstructed and reconstructed all in perfect form for plants to not just thrive but allowed to grow metabolites including cannabinoids, terpenes, terpenoids, ketones, etc. etc.). The pant of choice that you are growing being completely irrelevant.

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