Don’t treat soil like dirt

Calgary Herald - - GARDENING IN CALGARY -

Mike Do­rion thinks peo­ple need to give soil a lit­tle more re­spect.

“Soil doesn’t like to be treated like dirt,” says Do­rion, founder of Liv­ing Soil So­lu­tions, a nat­u­ral fer­til­izer com­pany that blends tra­di­tional and mod­ern tech­niques to bring life back into the soil.

“Peo­ple need to feed their soil. They need to have a ba­sic idea of what’s go­ing on in their soil be­cause it’s very much alive,” Do­rion says, adding that just a hand­ful of soil holds bil­lions of or­gan­isms such as mi­crobes, bac­te­ria, fungi, ne­ma­todes and other crit­ters.

“These guys are start­ing that cy­cle of nu­tri­ent trans­fer, mak­ing sure that plants are get­ting the nu­tri­ents they need. If we can in­crease that life in the soil, then our plants are go­ing to be a lot health­ier,” says Do­rion, who will speak at the Cal­gary Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety’s Gar­den Show on Satur­day at 2 p. m.

Gar­den­ers can en­hance their soil with nat­u­ral amend­ments such as high­qual­ity com­post, in­clud­ing ver­mi­com­post ( worm cast­ings) and com­post teas. Us­ing cover crops ( green ma­nure) is also help­ful.

“The soil should never be bare. Soil is very sen­si­tive,” Do­rion says, ex­plain­ing that when soil is cov­ered, ei­ther by liv­ing plants or green ma­nure, it pro­tects the soil and helps it re­tain wa­ter.


Mike Do­rion says a hand­ful of soil is burst­ing with life.

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