Most gardening recommendations include “working” organic matter into the soil through digging or tilling prior to planting, but this can’t be done once the grass has grown. Blown away!! In general, Missouri soils have about 2.5 to 3 percent organic matter. What is Organic Matter? It seems like a small amount but it can take years to build up in certain soils. All carbon, which makes up most of what we call organic matter, is not created equal, and that can make soil test readings confusing. Organic soils and fertilizers release nutrients over time, and as a result, your plants and lawn grow stronger over time. However, there are more microorganisms present in worm castings than in organic matter. Organic lawn fertilizer adds organic matter to the soil, which stimulates microbial activity and improves its structure. Soil organic matter contains roughly 58% carbon. Avoid fresh or partially composted manure. About 50% is air and water, and 45% is minerals (sand, silt and clay in some combination). We know that it stores and supplies nutrients, improves soil structure and water infiltration, supports soil biological activity, and buffers against changes in soil pH. Organic matter serves as a reservoir of nutrients and water in the soil, aids in reducing compaction and surface crusting, and increases water infiltration into the soil. CORVALLIS, Ore. – Adding organic matter is the best way to improve nearly all kinds of soils. It’s weed-free and low in nitrogen so it won’t burn plants. Flowers, gardens and landscapes will do well in soils with 4 to 6 percent organic matter. Therefore, if you increase organic matter content by 0.1% per year you are doing a superb job with your management. You may be surprised to know that in nature, organic matter only makes up about 5% of native soil. Organic matter is very important to successful plant growth. Earthworms help the soil by churning up the soil organic matter and helping the soil's physical properties. Shebreaths continuously. Prevent Soil Compaction. Using organic materials available from your yard or neighboring yards keeps them out of landfills and recycles nutrients from plants to soil and back to plants. Organic matter is a much used term referring to a wide range of invaluable materials for feeding plants, improving soil and as mulch. Adding organic matter into the soil to increase carbon, results in the nitrogen levels increasing. Organic Matter Improves Water-Holding Capacity and Soil Structure. We want to know how much an increase of 1% organic matter would increase the water holding capacity of the soil. Constant addition of organic matter to soil builds bio-fertilizer, disease prevention activities in soil and leads to sustainable farming. Is that enough carbon to increase soil organic matter 1%? You can’t change the type of soil you have, but adding organic matter makes your soil more like loam, which is perfect for plant roots. Poor quality soils have < 1% OM. You will have a tremendous increase in beneficial soil microorganisms, more efficient nutrient delivery, less nutrient leaching, better water retention, healthier plants, deeper and healthier roots, and higher Cation Exchange Capacity, just to name a few. Good soil will have from 2% to 6% organic matter. Adding organic matter back into your soil will also increase water-holding capacity. So 1% of 2,000,000 is 20,000 lbs. And more and more organic fertilizer equipments like new type organic fertilizer production line and bio-fertilizer production line are used to produce these high-quality fertilizers for market and planting. I was blown away and I am a lawn 'expert' so to speak. I try to buy from an organic farm. This slow release feeds the grass over a longer time period. Table: amount of organic nitrogen held in soil. Organic matter and soil animals. Because of high microbial activity (both heat and moisture) all “normal” organic matter is quickly decomposed, so it’s almost impossible to bring the soil up to 2% organic matter content. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are the key nutrients that plants need to grow. There are other places in the world that have soils with high organic matter content. First, Organic Matter can be increased by leaving clippings on your lawn and mowing tree leaves back into your lawn in … Sudden addition of organic matter chemo-dynamics of soil and nitrate content are disturbed. They form channels that help water infiltration, and promote soil aggregation and aeration. Organic matter binds soil particles to form aggregates; these aggregates help to maintain the porosity of soil and maintain the aeration in the soil. Lawn grasses and other plants become pale, lose their vigor and can't tolerate stresses such as heat and drought. Soils with at least 2.5 to 3 percent organic matter are preferable for growing lawns. Soils typically contain a combination of four different components. The mulch will slowly decompose and add organic matter to the soil to increase fertility. Soil is live. The organic matter enhances the soil water holding capacity. The increase in microbial activity aids the cycling of nutrients. Increase the Organic Matter content of your soil. Just saying that the best way to improve soil is to just grow grass. This discussion assumes there is no input of organic matter from other fields or farms. Have your soil tested to determine the amount of organic matter present. Bulky organic manures will increase organic matter, but frequent and heavy applications are needed to produce significant changes. 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