What do we mean talking about the organic substance of soil? Very often we hear that before sowing seeds in the soil and before planting in the garden, we must incorporate organic matter into the soil. This is because we want to have vigorous plant growth and ensure good fruiting. It is a fact that the improvement of the soil before planting and the proper preparation of the soil for cultivation, allows us to create the ideal environment for our plants to grow.
The organic substance is one of the 4 main components in any soil, along with water, air and the mineral part. Simply put, organic substance is a natural fertilizer, that also has the ability to improve the natural properties of the soil. This is for better absorption of nutrients by plants. Adding it is an ecological way to enrich the soil and give nutrients to plants, which makes it invaluable in organic farming.
Even in conventional crops, however, the organic substance improves the uptake of nutrients added to the fertilizer. Also it enhances water retention and contributes to better soil aeration. The incorporation of organic matter is beneficial for all kinds of crops. We mean by this not only the vegetables and fruit trees we have in the garden. But also the ornamental plants and aromatic plants we have in our yard and balcony. We will see in detail what organic matter is, how we can grow organic matter in the soil and what benefits it offers in cultivation.
The creation of the organic substance of soil
Organic matter is the material that comes from the decomposition of plants, animal residues and microorganisms that exist on the surface of the soil and in the soil. The final product of the decomposition of organic matter is called humus, which is why most of the time when we talk about organic matter and humus we usually refer to the same thing. The content of organic matter in a soil is a basic indication of its fertility. An example of this is the ability of the soil to provide the necessary nutrients for plant growth.
The quality and composition of the organic matter in nutrients, depends on the type of plant and animal residues it contains. The decomposition of organic matter is done with the help of microorganisms such as fungi and bacteria, as well as earthworms, valuable soil workers.
What does organic matter offer to plants and soil?
The organic substance is necessary for the improvement of allthe natural properties of the soil and for plants, as it offers the following advantages:
- -It constantly strengthens the plants with nutrients, acting as a natural fertilizer
- Improves the structure of the soil, as it makes the soil more fluffy. Also protecting it from erosion, due to winds or heavy rainfall
- Creates better aeration conditions in the soil and thus contributes to the better development of the root system
- It is helping in the process of the absorption of soil nutrients by plants
- Nutrients are often found in the soil and due to low or high pH are difficult to digest by plants
- Improves the retention of moisture in the soil and its utilization by the root system of plants.
How can we increase the organic matter in the soil?
We can enrich the soil with organic matterand this can be done in three main ways:
- adding compost
- incorporating manure
- green manure
Ready-made compost contains a very high content of organic substance. Consider it as an ideal supplement for our garden soil during planting. We can make our own compost at home. To do this we can use some suitable materials for compost. This type of materials are plant waste from the kitchen, as well as plant material from the pruning of plants and trees in our garden.
Compost has excellent soil-improving properties and is used in the garden and in pots on the balcony as a natural fertilizer.
Animal manure, in addition to being an excellent fertilizer traditionally used in all crops, is also an important source of organic matter for the soil. Manure provides nutrients for plant growth. Also it has a high content of organic matter, that helps to improve the natural characteristics of the soil. Increases water retention, while helping better soil aeration and drainage.
Green manure is the cultivation of specific plants and their incorporation into the soil during the flowering period. In this way, we gradually increase the percentage of organic matter in the soil, while strengthening the soil with several nutrients. The method of green fertilization is a key part of the implementation of crop rotation. It is used to enrich depleted soils with organic matter, after continuous intensive cultivation. –
Measuring the organic substance of the soil
The organic content of our garden or field, is a key indicator of how fertile our soil is and how we can improve it. Content of the organic substance in the soil can be measured accurately, by performing a soil analysis. This way we can also determine the content of several nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
At an empirical level, we can make a relative assessment of the organic matter content of our garden soil by following some basic rules. In particular, the more sandy a soil is, the lower its organic matter content than the more cohesive soils. The darker a soil is, the more likely it is to have a higher organic matter content than light yellow or red soils.
A small secret about organic substance
Forests contain a high percentage of organic substance. This comes from comparison to cultivated soils, due to the long-term decomposition of various plant residues, such as falling leaves. This process is natural and allows forest plants and trees, to grow without the need for fertilizer.
We beleive we have help you in finding out some useful things about the organic substances of the soil. Now that you are aware of this, try your best at your home or garden. The good preparation, will give you the most. Meaning not only by quantity of plants. But also from colours and aromas.