Recently, Jim Zamzow was asked to speak at the Nampa Public Library concerning healthy soil and the impact it has on our water quality, in conjunction with a traveling exhibit on water from the Smithsonian Museum. We don’t think about this very much, however, it should be one of the most important things we consider when fertilizing our lawns, landscape, and gardens.
A Hydroponic Lawn
When growing plants in a hydroponic system, you’re taking soil out of the equation. Instead, you’ll use what they call a media. These can be any number of things; which we don’t need to talk about right now. What we need to know, however, is that these medias don’t have the ability to hold on to water and nutrients. So, to feed plants in this type of system, the nutrients need to be liquid-soluble and readily available. In a hydroponic system, all of the fertilizer is contained inside the system. Now, think of the soil we grow our lawns in. Over time, the organic matter (Humus) in our soil gets used up. If we never added organic matter back into the soil, we’d be left with sterile ingredients like sand and clay. Without the organic material, our soil becomes a media. When you use a liquid-soluble fertilizer, what doesn’t get used at the time of application, goes away with the water. Unlike a hydroponic system, the water used in our lawn is not a closed system. Eventually, that water ends up in our aquifers, watersheds, streams, rivers, and lakes. Essentially, that fertilizer goes directly into our water supply.
A Different Way to Feed
As you can imagine, this is a pretty serious issue. I don’t know about you, but I want my drinking water to be as clean and pure as possible. A healthy soil will act like a water purification filter. The things we use to feed our lawn should get caught in the filter, and the water used to take it there can pass through and go back to our water supply; clean and clear. What it leaves behind, gets held by the filter and waits for the plants growing in it, to take it up and turn it into a healthy green lawn. Feeding with natural-based fertilizers like our Zmaozws Lawn Program, further, enhances this by slowing the food down. Natural-based fertilizers rely on the beneficial microbes that inhabit our soil. They begin to feed on the fertilizer and break it down into smaller pieces for the plants to use. Because the food stays in the soil and takes time to break down, you’re feeding your lawn for an extended period of time. This means your lawn stays green in between feedings, instead of crashing every few weeks, like conventional chemical-based fertilizers.
If our soils aren’t getting better, they’re getting worse. If the microbes don’t have food; they are dying. When they die, it’s only a matter of time before your lawn and landscaping can no longer keep up. We all want a green lawn, it’s how we get there that matters.