Don't discount soil structure when planting seeds or transplants
Seeds and seedlings do best in soils with a strong structure that can support a strong root system as well as enough permeability to allow air and water to move freely. A proper balance of pores also ensures the soil is not compacted and the seedling can break through the surface.
Microorganisms can increase the soil structure by breaking down organic matter and cycling nutrients. In doing so they secret glue like compounds that bind the soil aggregates together. This creates a strong structure while also creating needed pockets for air and water. Larger organisms, such as worms and beneficial nematodes, aid in this by feeding off the microorganisms and soil.
“To Plant a Seed is to Believe in Tomorrow”
Seeds need properly functioning hormones and a healthy microbiome.
Countless studies show the plant's microbiome effects seed germination, seedling strength, and plant vigor. Hormones produced by both the plant and soil microbes control cell division and plant growth within the seed.
Much like the human body, hormones are greatly influenced by the microbiome health. Seeds and seedlings need these hormones to work properly to help store food, produce proteins and lipids and cycle nutrients. Microbes also increase nutrient cycling and increase water permeability, increasing the availability of nutrients and water needed for seed growth and vigorous seedling growth.
In a study on EM-1® and a succulent plant called Mother of Thousands, plant growth was significantly higher when seeds were pretreated with a EM-1® and water solution. Other research on cotton and hydroseeding grass with TeraGanix has also shown positive results with faster germination and stronger plants.
Research on Tobacco seedlings showed an increase in growth and a decrease in transplant stress when treated with EM-1®. Seedling roots were soaked in a solution of EM-1® for 24 hours before planting.
Don't forget about organic matter
Organic matter provides the food for the microbial population and other beneficial organisms. Provide your soil with high-quality compost throughout the season for strong, living soil. Homemade compost is the best option as you can control what is being put into the soil.
Pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides are often found in compost and can hinder your soils health. Check out our tips for high-quality, nutrient-rich compost.