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The Soil Food Web Gardening Rules

Rule 1: Some plants prefer soils dominated by fungi; others prefer soils dominated by bacteria.

Rule 2: Vegetables, annuals and grasses prefer their nitrogen in nitrate form and do best in bacterially dominated soils.

Rule 3: Perennials, shrubs, and trees prefer their nitrogen in ammonium form and do best in fungal dominated soils.

Rule 4: Compost can be used to inoculate beneficial microbes and life into soils around your yard and introduce, maintain or alter the soil food web in a particular area

Rule 5: Adding compost to the surface of the soil will inoculate the soil with the same soil food web in the compost.

Rule 6: Brown organic materials support fungi while green supports bacteria.

Rule 7: fresh, green mulches tend to support bacterial populations; aged, brown mulches support fungal growth.

Rule 8: Mulch laid on the surface tends to support fungi while mulch worked into the soil tends to support bacteria.

Rule 9: If you wet and grind mulch thoroughly, it speeds up bacterial colonization.

Rule 10: Coarse, dryer mulches support fungal activity

Rule 11: Sugars help the bacteria multiply and grow while kelp, humic and fulvic acids and phosphate rock dusts help fungi grow.

Rule 12: Depending on the compost and the nutrients added, you can make teas that are fungal dominated, bacterially dominated or an even ratio of both

Rule 13: Compost teas are very sensitive to chlorine and preservatives in the brewing water and ingredients.

Rule 14: Applications of synthetic fertilizers kill off most or all of the soil food web microbes.

Rule 15: Stay away from additives that have high NPK numbers

Rule 16: Immediately follow any chemical spraying or soil drenching with an application of compost tea

Rule 17: the roots of conifers as well as hardwood trees including birch, oak, beech, and hickory form mycorrhizae with Ectomycorrhizal fungi

Rule 18: Shrubs and softwood trees form mycorrhizae with Endomycorrhizal fungi.

Rule 19: Rototilling and excessive soil turning destroys or severely damages the soil food web.

Rule 20: Always mix endomycorrhizal fungi with the seeds of annuals and vegetables at planting time or apply them to roots at transplanting time.

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