As a former biology teacher, my students use to do an experiment with a slice of onion skin.  Since onion cells are transparent, it is easy to distinguish the parts of the cell under the microscope.  After identifying the parts of the cell, students were then instructed to put a drop of salt water onto their specimen.  In a very short period of time the cell wall would constrict.

Fertilizers that contain salts like those in Rapid Grow force unnatural growth.  As the cell shrinks from the presence of the salt solution, the plant recognizes the need for water.  Rapid absorption of water creates increased volume and increases plant size.  The rapid growth creates large cells which are filled with lots of water.  Have you ever had a mega sized green bell pepper that tasted like cardboard?

Trying to fool nature can be done but who pays in the end.  Humans need foods that are going to satisfy our hunger and meet our nutritional requirements.

In addition, salts kill microbes in the soil.  In healthy topsoil there should be bacteria, fungi, algae, slime mold, protozoa, nematodes, arthropods and earthworms that all live in harmony when there is a balance of organic materials.  Add salt solutions and the organisms disappear.  Organic is not harsh.  Small micro-organisms are vulnerable.  The period on this page if equal in size to spec of organic soil, would contain half a million bacteria.  It doesn’t take much to kill the microbes and make the soil sterile.

Be careful what you add to your soil.  With a Square Foot Garden the compost has the nutrition to grow healthy plants bearing delicious vegetables, fruits and flowers.  We can all do this.


4 thoughts on “Microbes Teaming with Us

      1. Peter: What an excellent earth science lesson , we need to refresh our memory on these issues, so make and use compost, and let the natural biology work for us! Anneli

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