Biologial activity in your soil helps to add organic matter, cycle nutrients, and create biodiversity. A biologically active soil supports natural soil food webs and the interactions that support a resilient and healthy soil.
For increased soil biology, provide food, optimal conditions, and minimal disturbance.
- Minimize erosion and disturbance with perennial crops or winter cover crops. Roots enhance microbial activity, maintain soil structure and provide additional organic material in the soil.
- Increase biomass (carbon) by growing and incorporating a high biomass cover crop.
- Monitor C:N ratio of inputs (24:1 is ideal)
- Add nitrogen-rich organic matter (manure, finished compost)
- Use legumes in your crop rotation to provide nitrogen.
- Crop diversity will be reflected in your soil life. Complex crop rotations will also help with weed and pest control.
- Reduce tillage using no-till planting or a perennial crop.
- Reduce use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides
- Keep pH at 6.2-6.5
- Rhizobia inoculation or other microbiological products can increase microbial interactions, but are not a replacement for optimal biological conditions.