Microbes Gone Wild: The Soil Food Web and Your Lawn



Beneath your lawn, down in the soil, there’s a whole world of drama going on. Bacteria, fungi, all kinds of microbes, worms, insects, and animals are interacting in all kinds of ways (including eating each other). It’s a tiny, epic soap opera of who’s doing what with whom. Biologists call this complex interplay between all of the organisms who live or work or play in the soil, the “Soil Food Web.” The Soil Food Web matters A LOT to the health of your lawn. You could even say these interactions determine the health of your lawn. When all the little actors in the soap opera are connecting in the right ways and in the right amounts, they make the soil perfect for growing plants, like a green, lush, beautiful, thick lawn. And a lush lawn can take pretty good care of itself. It naturally fights off weeds, and disease, pests and drought, etc.. Of course, our yards have another player in the soil food web: humans. And we often unintentionally change the dynamics of the underground world. Think about a newly constructed home. The soil around the area has been dug up, trampled on, often brought in from some other location. That whole underground ecosystem has been disrupted: little microbe families torn apart, new organisms introduced into the mix, all kinds of disruptions to the Soil Food Web. In order to get that soil to a place where it can support a healthy thick lawn, the right balance of interactions between the organisms must be restored. How? Tune in next week to see what Eco Lawn does to try to get the right organisms playing together in the right ways.

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