September 17, 2012

Save your Microbes and your back! Make Lasagna in the soil!

Most gardeners are accustomed to mixing and tilling the soil, to combine amendments in the soil. It is a traditional method that most people don’t think twice about. However, the reality is that we can do harm to our soil by churning it up every 6 months- and for no good reason! When soil is healthy and teaming with microbes, it is unnecessary to till because the microbes do the tilling for us. In fact, turning the soil actually damages established microbial communities and disrupts the complex soil food web living in your garden. When you garden organically, you foster soil life with the use of compost and other organic soil amendments, like our 4-part system. They not only feed plants but they feed the microbes as well. These microbes unlock nutrients for plants, condition the soil, keep the texture and structure where it needs to be and they even mix your new amendments in for you!  

Damage to the microbes directly can lead to poor plant health: stunted growth, disease susceptibility and malnourished plants. All this and it makes extra work for you, with the shovel or tiller. So, what is the alternative? We call it the Lasagna Method. It’s very easy and is just like layering lasagna together in the kitchen. The Lasagna Method involves sprinkling your organic products in layers on top of the soil and then just letting them lie. The microbes in the soil will incorporate them over time. This is the recommended method for applying John and Bob’s Maximize, Penetrate, Optimize and Nourish. Spread them on the soil, water them in (if rain is not in the forecast) and let them be! Other organic ingredients, such as mulch, compost and other soil amendments, can also be applied in this method: spread them on the soil, one on top of the other, without tilling in. This leaves the all-important microbial colonies undisturbed. They will do the work of incorporating the amendments for you! DO NOT till under. Plant directly through the layers, water well and watch your garden grow! NOTE: You can plant right on top of these layers. If all your amendments are completely decomposed (like all 4 of our products), your plants will grow just fine!