Good time to learn new things.

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by Smallaxe, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Winter, for the dedicated LCO that loves the experience, can be very deppressing, with cabin fever ruining each day.

    Winter is also a good time to learn new things.

    From wikipedia, I picked up this definition:
    "Immobilization in soil science is when organic matter decomposes and is absorbed by micro-organisms, therefore preventing it being accessible to plants.[1] Immobilization is the opposite of mineralization."

    The next logical question is: what happens when the microbes die? or do they continue grow and absorb more nutrients as more OM is added to the soil? also, what can we do to be sure that the nutrients, particularily Nitrogen, are not lost to the atmosphere, as some microbes are prone to do?

    I know, that is more than one question... :)
  2. ecoguy

    ecoguy LawnSite Member
    from Duncan
    Messages: 234

    When microbes die they are consumed by more microbes and thus the cycle.
  3. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    read the paper that Tim posted on the "all or nothing" thread, it is exactly about this process

    The plants root is surrounded in the soil by consumers, the bacteria consume root exudates and OM and they are consumed by protozoa and others that poop out plant available nutrients

    The life span of bacteria? i have no idea, probably hours to months
  4. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,298

    Read about these: Nitrogen cycle, Phosphorus cycle....etc.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    So I think it is safe to say that 'immobilization' is a temporary condition that, actually provides an intemediate step in decomposition, holding the nutrients until they are consumed and 'pooped' out as plant food.

    It is just a closer look at the process of old plant decay on its way to being recycled into the new plants.

    I also read that, denitrification(into the air) and nitrification(from the air) "...roughly balance out." So that too, doesn't impact much, that we need to concern ourselves with.
    Nothing we can to about it anyway... :)

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