Soil biology plays a crucial role in the health and productivity of crops. By understanding how to build soil biology, farmers can enhance crop resilience and improve overall agricultural sustainability.

Building soil biology can be achieved through various practices such as promoting plant diversity, utilising biological seed inoculation, and implementing foliar sprays.  In this article we look at these top 3 soil building methods in detail.

Top 3 Methods for Building Soil Biology

1. Implementing Plant Diversity to Build Soil Biology

Plant diversity is essential for creating a balanced ecosystem within the soil. Different plant species have varying root structures and exude different types of organic compounds into the soil.

Growing plant diversity encourages the growth of soil biology and beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and nematodes. These organisms help in nutrient cycling, disease suppression, and improving soil structure.

Planting multi-species, diversifying the plant family (min. 5), creates a variation of roots underground.  For example, some plants have deep tap roots, and some shallow, creating an underground cooperative.  Rather than being competitive, all the plant roots work together to help support the biomass in soil structure and the soil biology.

 

The More Plant Diversity Above the Ground, The More Microbial Diversity Below the Ground

 

Pasture cropping

Furthermore, Plant diversity has been shown to produce more (natural) nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and other minerals, than any other method. Diversity produces an increase in plant nutrient acquisition, as well as better water holding capacity, improved carbon sequestration, and is an effective weed control method.

Click here to read article ‘How to Increase Soil Fertility with Mixed-Species Planting’

Seed Germination

2. Coating Seeds with Beneficial Biology

Research has discovered that a healthy seed can contain up to 2000 microbe species inside of it.  Strong plants grow out of strong seeds.  Strong seeds come from healthy plants that have grown in a healthy soil microbiome with a diversity of soil biology.

How do seeds communicate with soil microorganisms?

When a seed starts to germinate it sends out signals, in the form of exudates, for microbes to colonise it and assist in germination.  The microbial assistance is required to help break down the seed coat and allow moisture in, and to convert the endosperm starch into sugars, which the seed uses for energy to germinate and grow.

Biological seed inoculation involves coating seeds with bio-stimulants of beneficial microorganisms before planting. Inoculating seeds with liquid biological treatments, such as Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser or Liquid Fish Hydrolysate Fertiliser  has been shown to enhance germination rates, and supports early plant growth and immunity.

“I think applying biologicals to seeds is perhaps the single biggest ROI application of any application, that we see, that is the most consistent”

– John Kempf  

Liquid Seaweed Biological Fertiliser is derived from all natural ingredients, and contains a wide range of nutrients, including trace elements, amino acids, and growth-promoting hormones.  Applying Liquid Seaweed to seeds before planting, supports the seed by providing a biological environment during the seeds germination, and increased microbial support through the entire plant growth cycle.

Furthermore, biological soil amendments, made from seaweed, also help to improve soil structure and enhances water retention capabilities due to seaweed’s natural alginate, making it an ideal soil amendment to use, when seeding, and during dry conditions.

For more information about biological seed inoculation see video ‘Seed inoculation with David Olson of Sustainable Growing Solutions’

Geoff Pecan Leaf Test Analysis

Wilson Creek Organic Pecans achieve a ‘pristine’ leaf analysis, (above image), after applying a holistic foliar spray regime including SONIC Fish Biological Fertiliser (Hydrolysate).

3. Build Soil Biology using Strategic Foliar Applications

Healthy plants produce healthy soil.  One approach for growing healthy plants, if the soil is depleted, is to stimulate nutrition and optimise photosynthesis through the leaf.

Healthy plants, that are performing good photosynthesis, will create sugars (carbon), that feed soil microorganisms enabling the biology to populate and thrive.

One of the key advantages of using Liquid Biological Fertilisers is their ability to enhance mineral absorption by plants. The nutrients in these fertilisers are readily available in a soluble form, making it easier for plants to take them up through their leaves.

Foliar applications can be particularly beneficial in situations where soil conditions may limit nutrient availability or when plants require a quick nutrient boost.

Additionally, Liquid Biological Fertilisers contain a diverse range of beneficial microbes that can colonise the leaf surface. These microbes compete with harmful pathogens for food and space, reducing the risk of disease development.

By creating a barrier on the leaf surface, by using biological fertiliser, beneficial microbes can effectively outcompete pathogens and provide protection against various plant diseases.

By implementing these soil building practices – promoting plant diversity, utilising biological seed inoculation, and incorporating foliar sprays – farmers can create an environment that fosters robust soil biology. This ultimately leads to improved crop resilience against diseases and other environmental stressors.

G’day! I’m Sonja, author and co-founder at SONIC Natural Farming.

With deep roots in the agricultural community for over 30 years, I understand the unique challenges and rewards of farming in our beautiful country.

Experiencing these challenges first hand, is why we developed a company that can sustainably produce biofertilisers, and supply them to farmers, cost-effectively.

This innovative approach to fertilisation and soil care enables farmers to boost their soil fertility and their bottom line, making it a win win for Australian farmers, and for the environment.

SONIC Natural Farming

Want to see how we can help you beat the high cost of organic fertiliser?

SONIC Natural Farming

BIOLOGICAL
LIQUID FERTILISER

Ocean Nutrition
for Resilient Healthy Crops

You Might Also Like…

Top 10 Strategies for Efficient Water Management on Your Farm

Effective agricultural water management is crucial for sustaining productivity and ensuring the long-term viability of farming operations. In...

Revitalise Your Soil: 7 Time-Tested Natural Organic Fertilisers

If you’re looking to boost your farm’s productivity without breaking the bank, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll delve into seven...

Exploring the Benefits of Drone Fertiliser Spraying

Farmers often face significant challenges when trying to fertilise their land, especially when the soil is too boggy from heavy rains or when newly...

Biological Seed Treatment: Benefits and Methods

Seeds are the tiny powerhouses that hold the potential for life and growth. They symbolise new beginnings, hope, and the cycle of nature. From the...

Lacto-Fermentation Vs Vinegar Pickling

Lacto-fermentation and vinegar pickling are two popular methods of food preservation that have been used for centuries. While they both involve the...

Heat Stress In Plants: Prevention and Recovery

When plants are exposed to periods of high heat stress, it can have detrimental effects on their growth and overall health. However, one effective...

7 Cost-Effective Ways To Improve your Soil Fertility

Soil fertility is the foundation of a thriving garden or farm, yet many overlook the delicate balance required to maintain it. Imagine your plants...

Discover the Top 6 Benefits of Regenerative Farming

Regenerative agriculture is gaining traction worldwide, and Australia is no exception. This innovative approach to farming offers numerous benefits...

How To Grow Your Own Organic Garlic in Australia

To grow organic garlic in Australia requires a bit of planning. By following the right steps, however, you can cultivate a healthy crop of nutrient...

Top 3 Biological Fertiliser Strategies for Dry Times

During dry times, it is critical for farmers to maximise their return on investment (ROI) when it comes to fertilisation. One effective approach,...

Livestock Digestive Function – Key to Feed Efficiency

Livestock digestive health plays a crucial role in optimising net profit per acre. One key aspect of livestock digestive health is feed efficiency....

Top 2 Cost-Effective Pasture and Cover Cropping Tips

When it comes to cover crops and pasture cropping, the general rule of thought is, if you have healthy soil, you you have healthy plants.  This is...

Key Benefits Of Using Liquid Seaweed Fertiliser for Plants

Liquid Seaweed Fertiliser has gained popularity among gardeners and farmers due to its numerous benefits for plants. Derived from mineral rich...

Probiotics for Cattle and Calves: Optimising Gut Health

Maintaining optimal gut health is crucial for the overall wellbeing of cattle and calves. One effective way to support digestive function and...

Reducing Mould and Algae Growth on Microgreens

The process of seed germination is crucial for successful plant growth. In this section, we will explore the impact of using Biological Seaweed...

Liquid Fertiliser vs Dry Fertiliser

Liquid fertiliser is a popular choice among farmers due to its numerous advantages over dry fertilisers. In this article, we will explore the...

The Vital Role of the Ocean in Agriculture: 3 Key Contributions

Fish and sea plants, like seaweed, spend its entire life cycle, immersed in this mineral rich bath, absorbing all the nutrients it needs to live,...

Why Your Soil Needs Biology More Than Minerals

Beneficial soil microorganisms have more functions than science knows. The beneficial influences of soil microbes on plant growth are countless. In...