How to Build the Soil

Growing the biggest, tastiest, and most abundant tomatoes starts in the soil. Soil is the often-overlooked backbone of not only home gardens but also within the agriculture industry, and truly our entire food system as we know it! Soil is the life-source for our plants and thus for our food. Soil provides nutrients, water and air for plant roots to uptake and use to maintain health, growth and fruit production. Without fertile soil, no life can flourish. By providing the best soil available, we create the most vigorous and healthy plants from the start.

So, what is fertile soil? We define it as soil that is full of all the nutrients, minerals and microbes that are capable of sustaining plant life within it. In healthy tilth, there is a soil food web: different microbes (beneficial bacteria, fungi, nematodes and protozoa) live together as a food chain. This chain increases nutrient availability for plants, and it also changes the structure of the soil over time. Microbes help make some micro-nutrients (such as calcium and iron) more available to plants. Living microbes are vital to all soil! Yet many gardeners, nurseries, and agricultural companies overlook this important fact.

Many agricultural businesses just add NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium) fertilizers and call it a day but this does not sustain life in the soil. Inorganic fertilizers just add the refined base nutrients to the soil without the beneficial microbes, fungi, minerals, nematodes, enzymes and co-enzymes needed for full nutrient uptake. This imbalanced approach will work in the short term by getting these base nutrients to the plant in large quantities. The problem is that this imbalance often kills or impedes the other things in the soil that make these nutrients readily available to your plants and  decreases nutrient uptake to the plant over time.

 By providing complete nutrition to the soil, including minerals and beneficial microbes, your plant receives the maximum benefit. As your plant grows and thrives nutrients must be added if the same soil is to be used (as is common amongst farmers and most gardeners). Because your plants uptake a full range of nutrients from the soil, all those nutrients, must be added, in addition to beneficial microbes, fungi, minerals, nematodes, enzymes and co-enzymes  , in order to grow the most healthy and vigorous plant.

Healthy soil structure is also vital to plant health. If a soil is too sandy, it will leach water and nutrients out of the soil too quickly, leaving plants depleted. It also may not hold plant roots in place. If soil is too clay-heavy and dense, air and water (and plant roots) cannot move freely. The perfect soil is a loamy, crumbly blend of organic matter, rock particles and water, capable of allowing movement while holding vital components near the surface.

We believe in giving our tomatoes plants the healthiest start possible, which is why soil is so important to us! Keep reading to learn all about how we take steps to ensure that our soil is fertile, full of microbes and ready to sustain life and support growth! We hope you will continue to give these tomato plants (and everything else you grow) healthy soil to reach optimum health.