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What is a soil life and what is it caused by?

Spring is coming, temperatures will rise and your soil life will wake up and become active. But what is in the soil? Can we add life and what does it do? Common questions with a lot of answers, one of those answers is Bacillus Subtilis.

Soil life

We can differentiate two kinds of soil life, soil fauna and soil flora. Where soil fauna is mainly responsible for converting organic materials and mixing the soil particles, Soil flora has more complex activities. Profound soil processes like converting organically bound nitrogen to nitrates would be impossible without the presence of soil flora.

Compacted soil profile

Rhizosphere organisms

The largest presence and activity of micro-organisms in soil life can be found at the root rhizosphere. This is the area around the roots of the grass. Various micro-organisms are present here that feed on substances separated by the roots of the grass (exudates).

Bacillus Subtilis

One of the rhizosphere organisms is the bacillus subtilis, an spore-forming bacteria which has a rod-shaped form an a size of 0,7 á 0,8 µm by 2 á 3 µm. Bacillus Subtilis is an moving bacteria which only survives in an oxygen rich environment and is most effective with a temperature of 25 °C but is active between 5 °C and 55 °C . To grow it needs an PH value of the soil between 4,5 and 8,6 and is most effective between 6,0 and 7,5. When the environment is not favourable to survive it will form dormant spores that will activate with water.

Soil profile with soil layers

What does Bacillus Subtilis do?

In order for grass to be healthy is has to fight of pathogens in the rhizosphere to be able to grow its roots. Bacillus subtilis protects the roots from pathogens by attaching itself to the surface of the roots. Preventing pathogens to absorb the nutritious exudates from the roots and attaching to the roots. Bacillus subtilis also exudates antibiotics and enzymes which fight of the pathogens. But Bacillus subtilis also exudates plant hormones that help develop roots and adventitious roots.

Applying Bacillus Subtilis

Due to the spore forming capabilities Bacillus subtilis is able to survive extreme conditions. That makes ii possible to attach the spores to a fertiliser. To activate the spores the user should use water on the fertilisers after spreading it over the lawn. Doing this in early spring and keep applying during summer and autumn will provide a sufficient amount of active bacteria in the soil to prevent pathogens to attack your grass and let it develop a healthy root system.

Lawn detail

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