Composting Fertilizers Gardening Laidback Gardener Tip of the Day Soil

Feed Your Soil’s Microflora and Microfauna and Your Plants Will Thank You!

Feeding  the soil with compost will make your plants very happy!

I often get very interesting messages from the readers of my blog. For example, after I wrote about the difference between fertilizer and compost just the other day, I received a very interesting letter that deserves to be widely shared.

Here it is:

I would have liked it if you’d told your readers that plants (all plants, including trees) get 90% or more of their nutrients from the air – CO2 + H2O (photosynthesis) = C6-H12-O6 (sugar) + O2 (which we need to breathe!) – and that only 10% of the nutrients, at most, come from nutrients in the soil.

They’ll be surprised to find that the purpose of compost is to feed the soil’s microorganisms (fungi, bacteria, etc.), not the plant itself!

Feeding the soil pays more than feeding the plant with chemical fertilizer and in the long run (you are very right), if you don’t feed the soil, you’ll always need to add more and more chemical nutrients to obtain an equivalent or even reduced yield.


Yvon Beaulieu
Medical Biologist

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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