by Ken Quandt, Regional Manager
Green plants are the most important and vital forms of life on the face of the Earth. They alone, utilizing the process of photosynthesis, can produce the food that all other forms of life rely on for survival. They produce the oxygen that we breathe, cleanse the atmosphere of pollutants, and by absorbing the energy from the sun, they help to moderate the surface temperature of the Earth enough that other forms of life can flourish. Without green plants, no other form of life could exist.
Perhaps in recognition of the importance of green plants, Mother Nature has, over the past several million years, developed and perfected a marvelous system for nurturing and protecting them. This is an extremely complex system of soil microbiology of which we have very little understanding. These soil microbes feed and protect the plant, but we think in terms of feeding the plant and forget about doing anything for the soil microbes.
Because we have been to high school and college and some of us even have a Ph.D. behind our names, we think we can improve on the workings of Mother Nature. Since we have super computers, atomic power, and the ability to travel to the Moon and back, we delude ourselves into thinking we are intelligent enough to develop systems for feeding and caring for plants that are superior to Mother Nature’s system. However, since we have only a rudimentary understanding of soil microbiology, we find it difficult to improve on what Mother Nature does. Instead, we come up with quick fixes like
- Foliar feeding of the plant. The uses of artificial growing mediums creates hostile environments for the soil microbes and prove detrimental to their survival.
- The use of synthetic forms of nutrients that feed the plant directly, but do nothing to care for the beneficial soil microbes. The synthetic forms of nutrients might give some nutrients to the plant, but they do nothing to feed the vital beneficial soil microbes.
- Unbalanced feeding practices that try to provide the plant with huge amounts of one element such as potassium in relationship to the other elements.
- Unbalanced feeding is increasingly shown to be ineffective because the plants take up nutrients in direct proportion to one another. It is impossible to force the plant to absorb huge amounts of one nutrient without a similar increase in other nutrients.
- The use of slow release forms of synthetic nutrients that we try to gear to the needs of the plant. These forms include IBDU, methylene urea, urea formaldehyde, sulfur coated urea, and numerous others. The synthetic forms of nutrients all have some strengths but also some major weaknesses when it comes to supplying nutrients to plant at all times and under all conditions. And, once again, they do not feed the soil microbes.
Unfortunately, none of these measures deliver entirely what the plant really needs.
Only Mother Nature’s own system truly meets the needs of the plants and their allies: the beneficial soil microbes. This system supplies a balanced level of nutrients at a rate matching the needs of the plants and the soil microbes at all times. The release rate is governed by the activity of the beneficial soil microbes and the activity of these microbes is governed by the same factors such as temperature and humidity that govern the needs of the plants. The result is a system that is in perfect harmony at all times.
Obviously, Mother Nature’s system of feeding the plant feeds it the best and Nature Safe contains the highest level of food energy that is required to fuel this marvelous system. It contains not only the highest level of nutrients, but also the most easily digestible form of nutrients. That means that the widest range of soil microbes will be effectively fed, which means that the plant will receive the most balanced level of nutrients possible at the optimum rate. It is easy to see that Mother Nature knows best and that Nature Safe is one of her best friends.