Tag Archives: soil food web

How Nature Builds Soil, and You Can Too!

red-wigglers-in-compostWhen I study how nature builds its soil, here’s what I see.

In the fall, trees drop their leaves to the ground.  As they accumulate, different organisms go to work breaking them down including worms, nematodes, beetles, bacteria, fungi, and more.  Old branches fall from trees to the ground.  Fungi goes to work breaking these down, along with beetles, and other critters.  Birds, squirrels and other creatures sitting on branches drop their waste on top of this all adding a nitrogen component.  Other animals leave their waste to break down.  All of this goes into building fertile soil for the offspring of these trees and other plants to grow in.

Humans, on the other hand, go to great lengths sometimes to build soil,  making compost, adding amendments and fertilizers, tilling, turning, forking…you name it.  We work hard to build our soil while nature has a whole team of soil builders in place to do the work easily.  Why do we work so hard to do this? Continue reading How Nature Builds Soil, and You Can Too!