The interface between the soil and plant is one of the most complex and diverse eco-systems on earth, and to function properly every aspect of the soil system (Minerals - Structure - Biology) needs to be kept in a reasonable balance.

Plants grown in well balanced soils tend to be healthier, stronger and more resilient to pests and disease, they require less fertilizer and chemicals, and are able to uptake and retain minerals more efficiently. So an understanding of this complex interface is important for the successful management of soils and plants in any situation.

One of the key differences between well balanced, highly productive soils and those which predominate many of our modern production systems is their biological balance. Building or rejuvenating a beneficial biology can take a lot of pressure off because it enables the soil to manage many key functions automatically.

Soilsmart's products and services have been developed to help work on the causes of soil and plant health issues, an approach which differs significantly from more common approaches to dealing with pests and disease. The difference in our approach although dramatic in its effect, is also subltle in its impact on management.

The trend across most commercial soil based enterprises is for increasing pest and disease pressure and a strong reliance on chemicals to control them. This is surprising because there has never been more products available to treat the effects of pests and disease. The problem however, is that in the quest to find products to rectify or minimise the effects of pests and disease, we have inadvertently focused all our effort on treating symptoms rather than addressing causes - in reality we need to do both.

Of course we can't ignore the need to treat an infestation, but equally we can't ignore the need to deal with the cause. T
he best approach is to treat the symptoms (if they are causing economic threat), this should alleviate the immediate pressure, but at the same time we should also begin testing, investigating and treating the causal issues, so that we can achieve longer term benefit and a genuine reduction in severity and reoccurrence.

We Need Balance - It's Not About One Approach Or The Other

Soilsmart manufacture and supply a unique range of organic & biologically based products and provide some unique diagnostic services
 to help identify and address the cause of soil or plant based management issues. These products are designed to build and restore the biological and mineral balance in both the soil and plant.

This balanced approach enhances the health and productivity of plants grown in a wide variety of circumstances and it allows us to genuinely work towards remediating the underlying causes of soil decline and poor plant health.

Well balanced soils and plants have long term economic and environmental benefits as well, because by reducing the incidence of pests and disease we also reduce the need for chemical inputs. In fact well balanced plants, grown in well balanced soils typically have higher sugar levels and are stronger and more resilient against pests and disease - (insects don’t like plants with high sugar levels)
Biologically active soils are also typified by good soil structure, ensuring adequate Oxygen levels in the root zone as well as increasing water use efficiency. Nutrients are retained in the root zone longer, making them more available to plant roots and reducing environmental losses from leaching.

Improving soil balance will also ensure you get the maximum value from fertilizer additions, an issue of increasing importance with the cost of most chemically based inputs linked to diminishing oil reserves. In fact there has never been a better time to implement management strategies that ensure your soil is well balanced, capable of adapting to changes in climatic conditions and able to use artificial fertilizers and chemical inputs as efficiently as possible.

  See also;

Our Changing Soils

Rebuilding Soil Balance

Defending Against Pests & Disease