When a plant begins to show signs of deficiencies, insect or fungal attack, or even starts to look like its dying, this is a clear indicator of poor soil health.
Consider a fish in a fish tank. When the fish is ill, loses colour or shows physical symptoms the first course of action is to treat the water, as the fish is ill because of the quality of the water it is in.
But when a plant is ill, loses colour or shows physical symptoms we tend to just treat the plant, ignoring the soil that it is trying to grow in.
Breaking the hydrophobic crust
Hydrophobic crusts are formed by several actions –
Break down of soil particles by rain droplet impact that clog pores; Mechanical compaction;
Residual organic waxes and polymers (ie: Eucalyptus or bamboo leaves);
Low microbial content;
Low soil moisture content;
High sodium content
Methods to improve water penetration –
Introduction and stimulation of beneficial fungi to break down residual organic matter;
Actions of organic acids to reduce water surface tension, through addition of beneficial microorganisms and organic matter;
Increase energetic values of soil components;
Improve soil texture – formation of aggregates
Breaking the crust with Earthlife
It is as simple as spreading 3 to 5 handfuls of Garden Mate per square metre of bare soil, giving it a water to moisten it and then in about 30 minutes water again.