Nitrogen is crucial for plant growth. Now, here is the weird thing, Nitrogen is amongst the most abundant elements on Earth; however, it is not in a plant-available form.
Why is it so vital for our crops? 🌽 🍎
Without Nitrogen, plants would not grow. Nitrogen is especially crucial to the first stages of plant growth.
All soils are full of nutrients, although, more often than not, these nutrients are soil-bound, i.e., not available for the plant to consume.
This is where the bifurcation presents itself.
To remediate low nitrogen levels in the soil, conventional practices suggest adding Nitrogen fertilizer. We could make the analogy to spoon-feeding a wild animal. Doing so for a prolonged period causes the animal to become acquainted with this way of gaining access to food. Inadvertently, losing its capacity to obtain food for himself, creating a form of underdevelopment. Similarly, the plant becomes acquainted with its accessibility to prompt nutrients and disregards the need to develop a healthy root system, creating a similar form of underdevelopment.
On the other hand, with soil health at the core of growing practices, attention is directed towards extracting the soil-bound nutrients to make them accessible to plants. This is where biology 🐛 comes in. Biology consumes these soil-bound nutrients. When appropriate nutrient cycling is present in the soil, prey and predator’s effect makes it so that these once soil-bound nutrients become plant soluble. The plant can access these nutrients as it requires them. The plant is pushed to develop its root system to gain access to these nutrients, causing greater root surface area, essential to a healthier plant. 🌻
Soil is like the plants’ nutritional buffet.
Our responsibility is to provide the crops with a healthy buffet instead of a fast-food low nutritional one. Regenerative agriculture practices and organic amendments are the alternatives to bringing back the fertile soil the plants need.
This post was originally published on our Instagram account.