That’s right, Carbon. You may recall first hearing about it in agronomy 101. That may have also been the last time you heard about it ever since. The focus has been mainly on Nitrogen. Recently however, a new Buzz Word has emerged describing a simple scientific process as old as time…Carbon Fertilization. Balancing the Carbon/Nitrogen ratio in the soil produces healthier soils and reduces the amounts of fertilizer needed to maintain healthy plants and turf. It’s not a magic process, not brewed bugs, just Carbon. In case you’re a little rusty on the subject here’s how it works.
Carbon, in the form of long chain carbon sugars, is the product of photosynthesis. These sugars contain huge amounts of stored energy which when applied to the soil stimulate microbial activity. This is of particular importance because soil microbes serve many functions that are vital to the health of soils and plants. Among other things they: Reduce compaction, reduce thatch, break down soil contaminants, improve soil structure, aid plants in the up-take of nutrients, and naturally suppress pests and diseases.
The real problem is that modern agronomic practices focus directly on the plant itself and largely ignore the health of the soil. Typical fertilizers are high in nitrogen and contain little or no carbon which throws the carbon nitrogen ratio out of balance, microbes hate that. Pesticides are toxic to microbes and kill them directly. Over time the over use of these products destroys the microbes. The result is that as the soil becomes weaker, the plants become weaker and more and more fertilizers and pesticides are required to get the same effect. This downward spiral has become the norm in the green and agricultural industries.
The solution to this madness is incredibly simple. Add carbon. When treated with carbon sugars the soil begins to heal itself and microbial activity increases. As microbial activity increases, the need for typical fertilizers and pesticides is dramatically reduced. As the use of these products decreases the soil gets even healthier and further reduces the need for harmful products. Using these basic agronomic principles reverses the downward spiral and improves the quality of our environment in the process.
As if the positive effects of adding carbon the soil aren’t enough certain of these cutting edge carbon products also contain other beneficial ingredients such as humic and fulvic acids, sea weed and soy meal, etc. These substances aid in the availability of nutrients, reduce salt stresses, balance soil pH and stimulate maximum plant health and growth.
These safe and effective products are the perfect alternative the chemicals and pesticides that are continually being taken off the market due to their harmful effect on the planet.
It’s time to get back to the roots of agronomy. Somewhere between agronomy 101 and the over-dependence on chemicals, a great concept was lost…Carbon Fertilization.