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Soil Benefits of The One-Two System
- Efficient Nutrient Cycling – For example, let’s look at Nitrogen. Whether you are fertilizing or not, we want to be cognizant of the nitrogen in our system. Nitrogen goes through a cycle, and will converted to nitrate, which is the most leachable form. By having diverse mixes that both fix and uptake nitrogen from various levels of the soil profile – we are maximizing the efficiency of our Nitrogen. As Carbon Load uptakes nitrogen from the previous Nitro-Boost planting, Carbon load will die off, allow the nitrogen taken up to cycle back into the system through natural microbial breakdown processes.
- Soil aeration – By allowing various rooting structures in a dense planting with various depths we are taking full advantage of breaking up compaction, and creating a porous soil that lends itself to better water infiltration, efficiency and microbial populations.
- Healthier plants – by reducing our crops reliance on synthetic inputs and increasing the plants sustainment in the natural soil biological system, we will increase our plant’s ability to function the in the natural system – this can lend itself to higher Brix readings, which in turn leads to higher pest resilience. Brix can be correlated to nutrient density – Higher the Brix, the Higher the nutrient density is in the crop we are testing.
- Creating Eco-systems – Very diverse mixes not only help our soil, wildlife, and pollinators, we are also creating habitat for tons of insects. Many of these insects are our friends and will work as natural “insecticides” for our less desirable insect species – aphids, for example. This is a great example of symbiosis.
- Variation it roots exudation – Plant root exudates feed the fungal (mycorrhizal) networks in the soil. This is a communication facilitation between the plant and the microbial network allowing them to work synergistically between each other “trading” nutrients and solubilizing needed nutrients as needed. By having various plant species, rooting depths, and exudates occurring in the soil profile, we are allowing and promoting healthier soil, plants and more available nutrients for our plants now and in the future. A common example used is phosphorus, phosphorus is highly immobile, but by using highly diverse mixes and allowing fungal enzymes to be released – it can solubilize phosphorus into a plant assimilable form.
- Photosynthetic efficiency – Our mixes are very diverse and by doing so we are taking advantage of as much photosynthetic energy as possible – all year long. As plants photosynthesize, they increase their communication with the microbial world below (exudation). As we create an overall healthier system, we further increase the efficacy of our plants photosynthetic energy capture and exudation.
- Reduced Environment – When using our mixes in a no till system, we are creating a system that lends itself to a reduced environment. In general, as we “reduce” nutrient ions they become less bound up and easier to be assimilated by the plant. Furthermore, as we reduce our need for synthetic fertilizers, we reduce our salt (chloride) dump on the soil – which is highly oxidizing. Oxidation is the opposite of reduction and causes ions to become more positively charged - making it harder – if not impossible for the plant to absorb the nutrient. This can lead to nutrient deficiencies in our soil far beyond typical MACRO readings on a soil test. Our diverse mixes will use biology to feed the next planting and will reduce our need for oxidizing techniques such as tillage and synthetic fertilizers.
- Soil Aggregation – As we increase our plant diversity and reduce disturbance in the soil profile, we are able to create a system that lends itself to strong bacterial and fungal populations. As our plants release sugars, acids, etc. from their roots in the form of exudates – these feed the fungal networks, which in turn produce glomalin. Glomalin is a “biotic glue” as Ray Archuleta often refers to it. This biotic glue is a substance that helps the soil to “aggregate” or hold well together, giving it the porous texture, appearance and look of “chocolate cake”. This further helps to increase water infiltration, reduce erosion risk, decrease soil compaction, and increase moisture retention and much more!