Wednesday , November 14 2018
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Soil Organisms

Small soil animals, such as mites, play a vital part for our garden soil by breaking down the organic matter. Microscopic worms and nematodes (eelworms) help to control pests – although some are themselves pests.

Larger soil animals, specially earthworms, improve soil structure when feeding and burrowing. The passage of soil through an earthworm’s body binds soil particles into crumbs, increasing aeration and improving drainage, a necessity for beneficial bacteria and fungi.

earthworm image centipedes image

We will know that our soil is in a healthy condition as long as it contains a teeming community of earthworms and other organisms.

Some beneficial organisms that we are going to see in our garden soil are: devil’s coach-horse beetle, ground beetles, earthworms, centipedes.

devil-coach-horse-beetle image ground-beetle image

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Soil Water

For a good development plants need water. Most plants grow well in a soil that is described as both moist and well drained. This kind of soil is a well-structured soil where water is held in fine capillary pores, which are usually less than 0.1 mm in diameter, with air in the larger pores. Water is most readily available to plants from pores of he largest diameter. As the pores become smaller, it becomes increasingly difficult for the plants to extract moisture, which means that some soil water always remains unavailable.

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