All these creatures and entities are involved in the tremendous work of decomposing everything in their sight, and reducing these to their basic elements of carbon, nitrogen and other necessary nutrients into a material that plant roots can take up and provide to the rest of the plant.
ll the living beings that reside in the soil, all the minerals and elements that lay inside that structure, form not just a self-contained ecosystem which exists under our feet, but a truly ancient and rich ecosystem, tied inexorably toall the other ecosystems on the planet.
If one digs into leaf mold, or into really good soil, tiny white filaments resembling spider webs can be seen spreading through the soil or leaves. This is mycorrhiza. Though deceptively small, a teaspoon of good soil can have eight or nine feet of the tiny strings.
Bob Dailey is a master gardener, garden writer, and lecturer living in southeast Texas.