This is due to a compound called Geosmin, which is a compound secreted by bacteria know as Streptomyces. What it indicates is a soil that is biologically active – meaning it has a lot of bacteria and fungi in it. Exactly the sort of thing you want to have.
Geosmin is a bit of a strange compound. Humans can detect it at very low levels and we love the smell of it in the soil. Geosmin gives beets that district earthy flavour, and it is even used in perfumes to get that earthy smell. We don’t know exactly why bacteria produce Geosmin – it may be to attract soil insect like the spring tails and pill bugs you see in your compost. These insects help degrade organic material and turn over the soil, and by doing this they carry the spores of the bacteria to other locations.
For gardeners, this smell is an indicator for the presence of Streptomyces bacteria, and these guys are little dynamos for plant health. They take up the space on the roots and other parts of the plant, and also produce antibiotics to suppress pathogens. Additionally, Streptomyces also help to break down organic material, thereby increasing nutrient availability. They are also known to be able to stimulate plant growth.
These bacteria are certainly one of the great achievers amongst soil microbes. Because Streptomyces produce spores, it means they are present in most soils (although at low numbers in neglected soils). In order to encourage these guys to multiply, it is most easily done by using an organic mulch like Whoflungdung, which is biologically active. Using your own compost will also help. With a bit of moisture under Whoflungdung and watering it in with GOGO Juice, you will encourage Streptomyces to multiply, and before you know it your soil will have that rich earthy smell – and your garden will thank you for it.
About Whoflungdung – a biologically activated, nutrient rich, weed free, absorbent super mulch, Whoflungdung is composted, inoculated with eNcase and filled with nutrients, so that when added to soil it introduces a wide diversity of beneficial bacteria. These beneficial bacteria readily proliferate through the soil, acting as a barrier/deterrent to pathogenic bacteria, providing a safe environment for healthy plant growth.
Additionally, Whoflungdung is sustainable – it is a recycled waste product, made up of straw and wood shavings screened from chicken manure. In many instances Neutrog supplies the fertiliser that grows the crop from which the straw is sourced…now that’s sustainability! Most significantly, Whoflungdung reduces, if not eliminates, the nitrogen draw-down which is often reflected in plants after mulch has been applied. Apart from reducing weeds, many users also happily report that blackbirds don’t like it.
ABOUT GOGO Juice – literally teeming with beneficial micro-biology and essentially a pro-biotic for your soil and plants, GOGO Juice combines the “catalystic” power of providing a wide diversity of beneficial bacteria and fungi with the well documented benefits of applying kelp and humates. Applications of GOGO Juice provide a huge boost of the living micro-biology necessary for your soil and plants to perform at their optimum level, increasing their ability to resist pest and disease and to withstand &/or recover from, heat stress and frost.