Organic farming is something that is practiced worldwide on a small scale, and large-scale application. Advanced hydroponic greenhouses used for commercial production can be costly, high maintenance and can require sufficient knowledge within hydroponics. Below is better explained how organic farming can be cost-effective, low maintenance, supercharge the Earth, and is the preferred method of agriculture throughout the world.
By Stoney tark
Aerobic Or Anaerobic?
The first thing to understand about microbiology is how living organisms thrive. There are two types of bacteria, which can be described as helpful or harmful. Now, of course, no grower wants to have any problematic bacteria within the growing medium, and around the root zone, so better understanding what defines these two types of bacteria will allow you to ensure you are working with the correctly balanced microbiology within the soil. Found naturally within soil culture, millions of beneficial bacteria are present, waiting to form a symbiotic relationship with the plant's roots. Aerobic bacteria are a culture of beneficial microbes which depend on high oxygen environments. This means that within a water source with high levels of dissolved oxygen, the pH of the water will be higher. The same principle applies to humans: we can shift the pH levels within our own bodies, as well as the plants. When describing a growing medium that is oxygen-rich, the consistency and texture of the substrate should not be waterlogged and soggy. An excellent growing medium will have an airy, light feeling with air pockets running throughout the pot. Using perlite is an excellent way to improve the capacity of air and also the capillary action when feeding. Anaerobic bacteria are harmful and are typical of the bacteria that is found in a swamp. The characteristics of anaerobic bacteria will be an infection of the root system. The colouring of the once white roots will become a slimy, dark sludge which can severely compromise the plant's health. The odor that anaerobic bacteria can emit is foul smelling, which can be described as a mix of rotten eggs and sulphur. If you have ever used organics and have allowed a build-up of old nutrients to sit in a saucer, then these are the ideal breeding grounds for harmful bacteria to thrive. As a result, the roots that are in direct contact with the old nutrient solution will now be infected. Over time, a pathogen will form and become contagious to any other root system that is close by. The best way to combat an infected plant is to use 3% hydrogen peroxide, as this will provide an oxygen molecule that will then starve the anaerobic bacteria, and kill it.
Rain Water And Biochar...But What Do Microbes Eat?
The best way to understand what beneficial bacteria eat is to understand their role in conjunction with the root zone better. The reason why microbes are classed as beneficial in the first place is because of their symbiotic relationship with the plant. This means that once these microscopic spores attach themselves as a host, their role is to supply the roots with available nutrients that can be readily absorbed by the plant, depending on what it needs and when it needs it. In return, the microbes will feed off organic matter that is breaking down. Like all things in biological breakdown, they will begin to decay and start the slow process of humification. This is when a substrate will turn into carbon. The characteristic of carbon is black and shiny, which is why humic acid, fulvic acid, blackstrap molasses, and charcoal all have the same appearance. When there is a rich source of carbon present in the earth, then the soil will remain very healthy and fertile. Large-scale organic farming outdoors can rely heavily on rainwater to help balance out feeding schedules. When the rain comes into contact with the atmosphere, it will leach nutrients into the soil and push them down to the roots. Biochar is a form of charcoal that is heated in a low oxygen environment to create a carbon-rich source. Making your own biochar is inexpensive and is becoming part of a green conscious movement by more organic farmers. The structure of biochar under a microscope is unbelievably advanced. A single centimeter-squared-sized piece, once unfolded and carefully opened up, would cover the entire surface of a football field. Not only is biochar structurally advanced, but it is also the most porous material on Earth. Biochar has incredible capillary action and will act as a lifelong supply of carbon, as well as drastically improve the consistency and drainage of your current growing medium.
Compost Or Compost Tea?
Using compost to act as a slow fertilizer is one way that many farmers worldwide grow. Compost can be used for mulching, No-Till and to add magnesium back to a deficient growing medium. Organic compost teas are becoming more practiced by farmers who better understand soil microbiology. Using an aerated tea and allowing to brew for a minimum of 24 hours will increase bacteria count from millions to billions and billions. The basis behind organic compost tea is to use an air stone to create high levels of dissolved oxygen that aerobic bacteria will metabolize with. The microbes that are present in the water source will require a liquid feed of blackstrap molasses, humic acids or anything carbon-rich. The benefits of organic compost teas are that the longevity of the soil will be teaming with a network of advanced bacteria. As a result, the rate of humification will increase, meaning that the earth is a living, breathing, advanced interface, co-existing as nature intended. In the long run, nutrient uptake is more efficient, yields increase, and the flavour, aroma and health of the plant improves.