What is Living Soil?

Well… it is not dirt! There are more micro organisms in a spoon full of living soil than people on the planet! These micro organisms are part of the “Soil Food Web” that can feed our plants all the nutrients they need, not just N. P. K. and a few others. Our plants need many diverse nutrients to be healthy and so do we! The microbiology also protects our pants from pests! The basic practice of living soil is to copy nature. So look how it is done in the forest and you will find these basic principles:

1. The soil is always covered with organic matter, never bare.
2. The soil is not tilled.
3. No chemicals.
4. Lots of diversity!

After that there are lots of ways we can improve our soil and speed up natures process of soil progression!
Its all about the Biology!

Short Video’s

Here is a link to a short video on YouTube explaining soil nitrogen cycles

Demonstration showing night and day difference in water retention and run off

What living soil could do for the climate!

The Soil Food Web

Long video’s with a whole lot of info!

40 min explanation from Dr. Elaine Ingham the founder of the Soil Food Web school.

Here is a study showing the amazing yield increases that microbiology can provide!

Here is a 2 hour talk with great comparison pictures, Q&A, and disease prevention information.

For hours and hours more of great information on the subject and more just check out the video’s on The Soil Food Web channel.

Here is another great talk from Ray Archuleta.

And a 5 part video about exploring soil under microscope!

A deep dive into Regenerative Soil with Matt Powers!

Really diving into how the biology is essential to plants!
Interview with James White PhD by Matt Powers

What can you learn from seeing your soil under a microscope?

1st thing you will see is your soil aggregation.

This is Clay. Lots of little fragments, so if you imagine pushing everything together you will have a compact medium. With no air flow and water will run off instead of saturating the soil.

This is soil. Big aggregates glued together by the bacteria and fungi as they turn that matter into plant available nutrients. If you imagine pushing this together there would still be large gaps for air and water to penetrate.

You will see your amount of bacteria and amount of fungi in the soil. Advanced soils have a least a 50/50 bacteria to fungi ratio. Don’t be surprised or disappointed if you see mostly bacteria in your sample… you will then have a goal to achieve more fungi!

If your soil has other microscopic life like Nematodes, Protozoa, or Arthropods. Diversity is they key for a balanced nutrient cycle to get that Soil Food Web going! But too many Arthropods or Protozoa(ciliates) is a sign that your soil is going anaerobic.

Also if you have any non Beneficial’s like Oomycete’s that can lead to problems like Powdery Mildew.

Here is a Video from the Soil Food Web School on assessing soil under the microscope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOo2OgWnJag


Teaming with Microbes

Teaming with Fungi

Regenerative Soil

Grow Your Soil

The Living Soil Handbook