Many avid and successful gardeners and home landscapers have trouble adjusting to gardening in Florida because of our poor, sandy soils. To make that situation worse, developers seldom use soils for plant growth. Many times the planting soils were excavated for the retention ponds to build roads and foundations. Understandably these soils are extremely difficult to establish plant communities in. Adding carbon in organic matter is crucial to establishing an environment suitable for plant growth.
The building block to soil health and thus plant health is the Soil Food Web. The foundation for this web is bacteria and fungi. These organisms can be introduced into poor soils to jump start the Soil Food Web. However, they need sufficient food sources like carbon and proper application to the plants to be successful.
Our two step program uses Comand brand compost as a top-dress for lawns and planting beds. We follow that up with an bio-stimulant and inoculant to boost soil microbial life much like probiotics work with digestive health. The addition of these carbon based programs results in a completely natural plant nutrition system based on soil health. Plant resistance to pests and disease is vastly increased due to the quality of the nutrition provided from healthy soil vs. chemical fertilizers.
Another benefit of a carbon based fertilizer system is organic matter and compost applications act as a sponge holding water and added fertilizers in place longer for more uptake into the plant, not into the environment. The complex microorganism relationships fuel a constant supply of soil rooting hormones and bio-chemicals that are antagonistic and/or deadly to many plant pathogens.
It’s important to remember that beneficial soil organisms are provided food from the plant in return for this protection. Only when the beneficial are harmed do the pathogens get the upper hand and tip the balance against the plant.