In the millions of years since plant life first appeared on the face of the Earth, Mother Nature has worked continually to develop a marvelous system to nurture and protect plants. This protection comes from a tremendously complex system of soil microbes that even the most erudite among us can even come close to comprehending. We know what a few of the organisms do, but we have a very poor understanding of what functions the vast majority of them perform or how they interact with each other. One thing that we do know is that plant life is the most vital form of life in our world. Without the food they produce through photosynthesis no other forms of life could exist. No other form of life has the ability to produce food, they only consume it. Perhaps that is why Mother Nature went to such great lengths to hone and perfect the soil microbe system to care for plants. We have learned that when the soil microbe system is healthy and balanced that plants flourish. However when the system gets out of whack plants struggle and die and pathogens and parasites run rampant.
In the relatively short time that man has inhabited the Earth, we benefited from this microbe system and we learned to use it and to cooperate with it. Most of the time we really didn’t understand what we were doing, but through trial and error we came to understand what must be done to grow healthy plants. Much like an Indian planting corn and putting a fish into every hill that he planted, he knew it worked, but he really didn’t know why it worked. It has only been in the past several decades since the end of World War II that we have decided that we no longer need the soil microbes. We have extensively used synthetic forms of fertilizer that are directly available to the plants and do nothing to feed the soil microbes. We use more and more chemicals that do severe damage to the beneficial microbial populations and leave the door open for the pathogenic organisms.
Increasingly though we are finding that cooperating with Mother Nature is vastly superior to trying to fight her at every turn. Feeding the soil microbes and allowing them to protect and nurture the plants has proven its value. Plant protectants such as fungicides, insecticides and herbicides are needed at times, but they should only be used when absolutely necessary and then they should be used sparingly. We know that when they are used they destroy vast numbers of soil microbes, both pathogenic and beneficial. However the beneficial microbes have the ability to reproduce much more rapidly than the pathogens if they have a food source. The end result is a greater ratio of beneficial organisms to pathogenic organisms. Without that food source, the reverse often occurs and the pathogens increase in numbers at the expense of the beneficial organisms. When that occurs we then have to apply increased amounts of plant protectants to cope with the problems, which in turn makes the situation even worse.
When Nature Safe is used regularly in a turf program it provides unparalleled food value to the soil microbes which insure that Mother Nature’s wonderful system will keep working in harmony with the plants, hopefully for several million more years to come.