It is common to think about using probiotics for our gut health, but at microbz we like to take a holistic approach to incorporating microbes into our lives and the environments we inhabit. As the seasons change, and the warmer weather starts to re-appear, one of those environments we spend more time in is our beloved garden.
We believe that soil is the starting point of the life cycle on both a large agricultural scale, but also on a smaller scale in our own gardens. Healthy soil full of microbes supports the growth of healthy plants, which are more nutritious for us.
Here are some ways in which getting green-fingered and including microbes in your gardening can help you have a healthy garden and a healthy life.
The importance of soil
Soil is one of the most highly diverse ecosystems on our planet and the organisms within it are fundamental for all types of life to thrive. Did you know that one square metre of healthy soil is teeming with up to 1.5 kilograms of living organisms?
Most of this number is made up of microorganisms, or microbes. There are lots of different types of microbes in the soil, all living around the root area of the plants. They form a symbiotic relationship with the plant; the plants feed them, and in return the microbes keep the plant from stress and hold vital nutrients in the soil.
Another huge benefit of healthy soil is how it affects the environment. Healthy soil retains water, regulates the Earth’s temperature, absorbs carbon from the environment and increases the nutritional value of the food grown from it. According to Columbia University’s Earth Institute, “soils remove about 25 percent of the world’s fossil fuel emissions each year.”
Essentially: a healthy environment starts with healthy soil. The Food and Agriculture Organization once said “bacteria may well be the most valuable of life forms in the soil.”
Mental health benefits of gardening
There are also lots of personal benefits of gardening and getting ‘hands on’ with microbes in your garden. Getting some fresh air, being physical, and surrounding yourself in nature are all beneficial outcomes to spending time in the garden. As well as this the mindful approach of focusing on the task at hand whether it be digging a new bed, planting flowers, pulling weeds or harvesting crops from your vegetable patch, all contribute to a calmer mental state.
But did you know that digging stirs up microbes in the soil, which are then inhaled and stimulate serotonin, the happy hormone, making you feel more relaxed and happier?
So how can you get the most microbially rich soil?
The products that we typically use in our gardens contain chemicals and pesticides that have a negative impact on every aspect of soil health. Here are some great ways you can get the ‘good bugs’ back into your garden and promote a microbial rich soil at home:
- Use Bokashi
Bokashi is a dried fermented wheat bran that naturally promotes fermentation of all food waste, cooked or uncooked. It suppresses unpleasant odours and accelerates fermentation of kitchen waste in a household composter such as a Bokashi bucket or food caddy. Once food waste has fully fermented, it can be worked into soil as a fertiliser. Simply add a handful when you put your waste food into your compost bin.
- Try a microbial Compost Activator
Applying microbes to your compost helps it to naturally decompose and reduces rotting and unpleasant odours. There is less need to turn the compost heap, which can ferment anaerobically without rotting. The good bugs speed up composting processes and promote odour-free decomposition, the resulting compost promotes healthier, more fertile soil, with better water and nutrient retention.
- Apply Soil Conditioner before planting
Our Soil Conditioner is designed to boost soil fertility. It delivers billions of beneficial microbes plus essential minerals to prepare the soil for planting in spring.
As you’re preparing to get back into the garden this spring, remember to put those good bugs back into your garden and let them do the hard work for you, creating a thriving, healthy environment, for you and the planet.