Imagine the soil as a supermarket, with the roots as the shoppers. The currency with which plants go shopping is “hydrogenions”. The humus and pore spacing provide the aisles and shelves of the supermarket. Humus and clay particles have the ability to stock up on nutrient ion’s and their “stock on hand” can be exchanged for the unlimited currency of the roots (hydrogen ions).
This is called the exchange capacity of a soil. All healthy roots are wealthy in terms of hydrogen ions, and their purchasing power is limited only by
- the amount of stock available and
- by the ‘air conditioning’ – for roots will not go shopping without oxygen.
It follows therefore that the pickings are rich and easy in an organically nurtured, biologically active soil of very high exchange capacity where the shelves are so well stacked and access is easy, so that there is no need for fierce competition between the shoppers.
Healthy plants with all the nutrients are able to easily combat the average pest attack or disease. The pH of the soil is one of the major influences on nutrient availability because it is concerned with the hydrogen ion concentration. If it is too high or too low it will greatly affect the plants ability to go shopping.
Call in to The Yard for any of your soil or plant enquiries or for some earthy retail therapy of your own.