OUR SANDY SOILS in Florida are a constant challenge to all growers of all crops. We have an inadequate amount of organic matter to give us the platform we need to work from.
Growers, however, do have the opportunity to change the matrix of their soil environment safely and naturally. This can be accomplished by applying an organic humus soil amendment made by composting. By doing this, you are increasing the carbon and microbial life in the soil. This will also increase the organic matter, resulting in a higher Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC). When this is achieved, many good things start to take place. The fertilizer you applied will become more readily available to the plant or tree. This is accomplished when the microbes in the composted humus soil amendment go to work on your behalf, breaking down the minerals in the soil.
A mature composted humus soil amendment worthy of being applied will contain high levels of good bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. The former are important, but it is the protozoa (flagellates, amoebae, and ciliates) that are the key to good nutrition. They mineralize everything in the soil, making it readily available to the plant or tree root system. You should always ask for a biological analysis for the composted soil amendment before your purchase for your vegetable farm, pasture grass/hayfield, peach orchard, or citrus grove.
Growers, you can progressively tend your soil growing environment by adding an organically composted soil amendment this summer and let the microbes do their work!
This column is sponsored by P&H Solutions, Inc.
column by CARSON A. FUTCH
BIO: As the owner of P&H Solutions, Inc., Carson A. Futch assists growers in Central Florida with organically composted soil amendments and other crop-growing products. He is a Plant City native and a fifth-generation Florida Cracker who grew up on a working ranch and citrus operation. He received his B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Florida in 1981. During the 34 years of his career, Carson has been involved in various management and ownership aspects of production agriculture, harvesting, marketing, and agri-tourism. He has also been blessed to serve on various councils and committees for the betterment of his church, community, and the agricultural industry.