A complete guide to soil microbiology.

The single most impactful thing a gardener can do is learn about how plants work. To do that, you must learn about the soil food web of life. I hope to cover this topic in detail in this video, but also keep you awake and entertained while doing so. This is just really important information to put into your gardening tool kit, because it will save you from making many mistakes – some of which can cost you decades.

This video represents years (literally) of reading books (including university textbooks), podcasts, research papers and digging that I have done. This isn’t me talking here, this is me simply relaying the information I’ve learned in my own journey.

So much of this information seems like it’s “book info” and not useful in the garden, but it’s simply not true. If a soil test came back high in nitrates but low in ammonium, what FUNDAMENTAL THINGS would that tell you about your soil? After watching this video you will be able to answer that question with ease, and then take specific action to move the system and soil to where it needs to be.

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Thanks for watching and happy gardening everyone!


3:14 Dirt vs Soil
4:10 Bacteria and Fungi role in the soil. Glues, Soil aggregates, nutrients out of stone.
6:12 Chelation: the act of taking those nutrients and making them bio available.
6:30 Plant Root exudates. I.e. how plants trick microbiology to do all the work for them.
10:29 Soil tests, Soluble vs insoluble nutrients. How soil tests can be misleading.
14:50 The nitrogen cycle and what your nitrites, nitrates and ammonium concentrations can tell you about your soil food web of life.
17:50 How ecological transition and the nitrogen cycle tie in together. Note that I cut out a long winded section on pH here, and that Nitrates make alkaline soils (the bacterial glues are very alkaline) but fungi and ammonium make acidic soil.
19:36 A continuation of the above, but what that means for weeds and what plants you will create the environment to grow. I suggest if this topic is of interest, that you start at 14:50 so that you have all the information you need to understand this section.
22:14 A Dog in a cowboy suit
22:45 How the soil food web of life can solve your sand, silt or clay problems and create a loam. You will still have heavy clay, you just won’t care. Nor will your plants. This is why something like a carpet of daikon radishes is the ultimate clay solution.
26:54 Tilling
28:14 The larger organisms of the soil food web of life. I.e. this is where chelation happens.
30:25 We are all just spaceships carrying around the smaller lifeforms.
32:31 Fertilizers and microbiology
36:27 Every piece is as important as every other piece. I.e. balance in all things.
38:50 Okay okay, enough already I get it. I need a soil food web. How do I make one?

41:20 Aerobic vs Anaerobic.
46:08 Three things you should do today after learning this.


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Music credits:

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Boat by Vlad Gluschenko | https://soundcloud.com/vgl9
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