Understanding Soil Bacteria

Soil Biota: Keeping it Simple


We sometimes get soil analysis reports from our clients who want us to interpret the results for them.  

It’s important to understand that the method used by the lab to extract minerals from the soil is not the same method that a plant uses, therefore you need to accept the information with a grain of salt.  It’s also important to understand that we cannot change your sites geology, as the soil chemistry is a function of the 4 million pounds of minerals on every acre of land 1 foot deep.  

Most of the minerals found in that 4 million pounds cannot be found using the chemical extraction methods of the lab and if the mineral is not soluble in water a plant cannot drink it.  

If the mineral is soluble such as sodium, we can get rid of it by using an ion exchange so in that case the soil test is very useful info.  

This is why soil microbes are so important as Nature figured this problem out hundreds of millions of years ago and designed bacteria, fungi and aromatic chemical reactions that can access the minerals to help a plant drink what they need.  This is where my company is the Champion of Soil Health for Agriculture Globally.  

At Soil Secrets, we researched which bacteria can accomplish the solutioning (dissolving) of minerals needed by plants, which bacteria can make amino acids needed to feed the Soil Food Web and which bacteria can make nitrogen in the soil without needing direct contact with a legume or other nitrogen-fixing plant.  

These type of bacteria are called Free-Living Nitrogen-Fixing bacteria!