I'm not sure how many of the questions are left unanswered. I can think of a couple and even those are more than I can handle here at 2:15 AM. But I'll toss in a few comments that came up near the bottom of this thread. Microbes need more than just sugar. That is the problem with synthetics (no protein). Microbes are living creatures that create amino acids to build protein for their little bodies. The amino acids require nitrogen. They get that nitrogen from eating other amino acids (protein) supplied from the surface as things up here die and fall to the ground. Synthetics provide no protein. Organic fertilizers are all protein sources. Some provide sugars but I'm not impressed with those. The idea that microbes "hold the nutrients" for the plants was certainly introduced by me. I'm picturing a microbe with his pockets stuffed with nutrients. Rather than that, the microbes themselves are one reserve of nutrients. Their bodies will be eaten alive or die and then be eaten by other microbes depending on food supply, disease, etc. Another organic storage medium is humus, which acts like a sponge for organic nutrients. As the readily available nutrients in the soil are used, the microbes can turn to the humus to retrieve more as needed by the plants. I'm not sure that microbes provide a steady diet. They are affected by moisture and temperature in addition to the availability of their own foodstuffs. Inasmuch as these factors change, the diet to the plants might suffer or be completely cut off at times. I am pretty sure that the microbes provide the ideal diet; however. I don't know of any research to prove that. My statement is based on confidence that Mother Nature has figured it out in the past 200 million or so years. Sugars are stored in the roots, leaves, and stems of plants. Some store more in one location or another. Sugars provide energy to all living creatures. An oversupply of protein is not good and an oversupply of sugar is not good. Again, Mother Nature has figured out where each plant needs to put its chemicals for the best health and ability to procreate. Soil microbes DO get their sugar from the plant roots. There is normally no other source since they do not photosynthesize down there. The microbes exchange nutrients for nutrients through direct contact with the cell walls both inside and outside the roots. This is a well known phenomenon in all creatures. The simplest analogy I can think of is the idea that we inhale oxygen and just as fast as we can absorb the oxygen, we exhale carbon dioxide as a waste byproduct of our metabolism. That exchange happens instantaneously and continuously right through the cell walls of the red blood cells flowing through our lungs. A similar thing happens in our guts with the exchange of food for wastes at the cell walls. Same thing in our kidneys and livers. Exchanges of required elements and ions directly through cell walls is THE mode of transfer in all life forms. And there is always an exchange of "waste" for "nutrients." I put those words in quotes to emphasize the idea that one organism's waste is another organism's nutrient. Picture a revolving door with specific handles on the door. Only nutrients can grab the handles leading in and only wastes can grab the handles going out. On a molecular level, this is exactly what is happening. I believe timturf asked for a website to back up what I'm saying about the sugar exchange. I can't do that tonight but I can look in the next few days. Maybe GLawnboy has a site handy. He's done some serious research in a very short time. I'm very impressed!