Is Your Garden Dead?

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It should be pretty obvious what biogenesis has to do with Gardening. In fact, it�s a central principle upon which Gardening is built: a healthy, living soil produces healthy plants. If your soil doesn�t contain dynamic, living organisms, it�s, well, dead. This principle holds true whether your �garden� consists of a field of corn, a raised rose bed, containers of herbs, or a living room full or African violets.

But there is great news! You can fix your soils fertility! The scientific term �biogenesis� simply means, living things can only come from other living things and cannot be created spontaneously.

Wikipedia says that, �until the 19th century, it was commonly believed that life frequently arose from non-life under certain circumstances, a process known as spontaneous generation. This belief was due to the common observation that maggots or mold appeared to arise spontaneously when organic matter was left exposed. It was later discovered that under all these circumstances commonly observed, life only arises from the replication of other living organisms.� Only God one can create life from lifeless matter.

If you have dead soil you have two options:

1. Forget about growing anything, ever.

2. Using soil amendments, aim for soil fertility!

The second option is easy and makes for great success in developing your green thumb. Sure makes your lawn greener and your flowers beds more beautiful too.

It�s a fact of life that one must have fertile soil to grow healthy plants; there�s just no way around this. So what is soil fertility? It�s a measure of life in the soil. This life is manifest in the form of micro-organisms such as bacteria and fungi. Their numbers typically average several million in every gram of healthy soil. The most important function that these organisms perform is the cycling of carbon and nitrogen which is elemental for all plant life. Additionally these micro organisms recycle organic matter by breaking it down into usable form for plants. These micro-organisms are so critical to soil that without them, life as we know it would disappear from the planet.

Once you begin to understand that all of life is symbiotic and interdependent, the easier it is to understand the basics of Gardening. Attempts to bypass this principle of biogenesis through chemical processes (either by ignorance or arrogance) destroys these vital microscopic life forms, and the repercussion creates a ripple effect that will be felt throughout the entire environment.

There are certain types of bacteria that transform nitrogen gas into soluble, nitrogen compounds that cause plants to grow.

Mycorrhizal fungi is a mutually beneficial relationship between the plant root and fungus. Over 90% of the world�s plant species form mycorrhizae, and until they do, they can�t efficiently take up water and nutrients. Plants require the association for peak performance in normal growing conditions. The mycorrhizae enable the total area of the root systems that absorb nutrients to increase hundreds, even thousands of times over.

Still other micro-organisms called phyto-stimulators produce compounds that provide hormones and vitamins which increase crop yields.

�I would be remiss if I failed to mention that there are also bad forms of bacteria and fungi. Rather than attempting to kill these, the organic gardener focuses instead on feeding the beneficial forms which will eventually dominate the bad in the natural course of events.

So� what kind of soil do you have? If you don�t know, find out. Has the soil ever been treated with chemicals? Are you using a commercial potting mix or a soil mix that has been sterilized, irradiated, or includes chemicals? (Remember that dead soil I mentioned earlier? Contrary to popular belief, these pre-packaged soils are virtually devoid of any beneficial life forms.) If you haven�t had a soil test, you can get one done; it�s easy. Find out what condition your soil is in and take steps to make it more fertile. Just remember, there�s a remedy for dead soil and it�s called Gardening.

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Greg Traver is a Freelance writer with a passion for organics and natural living. Want to read more? Stop by and claim your free copy of the popular text, Soil Test Analysis Guidelines available only at =>

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