The magic of microbes and why we like them

Mon. Aug. 14, 2017

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  The magic of microbes and why we like them

Microbes are everywhere!  In our soil, in our plants which means in our food and water and, of course our guts.   So why should we care?  Wellllll… without them life would cease to exist. We’re talking about the magic of microbial science.

Before you zone out – hear me out!

A little gram of soil that’s the size of the tip of your little finger has 10 million microbes!  Scientists are mapping microbes and figuring out ways to manufacture them without harming our plants.  An example is the cancer drug Taxol.  It was discovered on the bark of yew trees which meant they nearly became endangered from overharvesting until scientists figured out that the actual basis for the drug was the microbes that live ON the trees rather than the trees.  Pretty cool.

Soil microbes

Soil microbes

Microbes have a lot to do with maintaining good soil structure, which promotes infiltration and drainage of water, soil aeration, and vigorous root growth and exploration.

There’s a lot of talk about mycorhizzae and gardening.  And for good reason – read on HERE

mycorrhizal fungi

mycorrhizal fungi

Gummy substances produced by soil microbes help cement soil particles together into aggregates, which contribute to soil structure. This cement also makes aggregates less likely to crumble when exposed to water. That’s a good thing!  In general, the abundance of microbes in soil is proportional to the organic matter content. Add that compost!

compost bin B&B

More info can be found at The Atlantic – Healthy soil, Healthy people