The Soil Food Web and Your Lawn
Everyone’s heard of the food chain, but what about the Soil Food Web? The two are similar, except that while the food chain is linear, the Soil Food Web is cyclical in nature.
What is the Soil Food Web?
The Soil Food Web is made up of a diverse microcosm of organisms. These hundreds of thousands of organisms range in size from small, one-celled bacteria or protozoa to larger more complex organisms like plants and worms. As all of these organisms consume nutrients and grow, they make things we take for granted–like clean water and air and healthy plants–possible.
To be part of the Soil Food Web, these organisms must live all or part of their lives in the soil. The sun grows the plants and grass which supply carbon and nitrogen to the soil. Organisms use this energy to decompose leaves, providing food for insects, worms, and birds. Then, nutrients are released into the soil to help our trees and plants grow. These organisms are active during different seasons, and different organisms exist in different environments. For example, gardens have a different Soil Food Web than a traditional lawn. Ultimately, energy is converted as organisms absorb or eat others in the soil food chain, as in the following:
There’s a biological school of thought that states the process is only as good as what’s in the soil. In other words, using pesticides and other dangerous chemicals can disrupt the Soil Food Web and make our soil less nutrient-rich.
The Soil Food Web and Paradise Lawns’s Organic Lawn Program
Paradise Lawns’s Organic Lawn Program helps restore the proper pH balance to your lawn and, therefore, your soil. Years of chemical pesticides and herbicides harms and even kills some of the beneficial components of the Soil Food Web, so a proper organic lawn care program like ours can reverse the harm done to your lawn’s ecosystems. What this means for all of us is cleaner water, higher quality air, and a healthier lawn for all!