Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

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Keep a Live Root in the Soil, or “A Radicle Idea”

Published on Jun 10, 2016

In the fifth chapter of his five-part mini-series, “Bringing the Science of Soil Health Home,” Buz Kloot, Ph.D. reminds his viewers that “carbon is the energy currency of the soil.” Carbon feeds the soil microbes, which enable nutrient cycling and other functions critical to plant health. Dr, Kloot explains that through the process of photosynthesis, plants convert carbon dioxide into carbohydrates – exuding a sizeable portion of those carbohydrates through the roots to feed microorganisms in the soil. To maximize the benefits of this remarkable symbiotic process, farmers and gardeners should keep a living root in the soil throughout the year to feed those soil microbes, Dr. Kloot says.

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