Why is soil preparation important in the Miyawaki Method?
Soil preparation is one of the cornerstones of the Miyawaki methodology and the stage that takes the most time and effort. Results are linked to the care that’s put in!
The end goal is to produce a forest floor type soil - where the texture is friable, almost spongy, with water and carbon retention balanced. Most importantly a thriving healthy soil biology is supported.
But perhaps the most important aspect is the #fungal one. Trees want to grow in fungal dominant soil that allows the symbiotic relationships with beneficial fungi to form and leads to healthy, vibrant long term growth.
These days more and more of our soils are becoming bacterially dominant due to human actions and ecosystem disruptions. Within nature soils slowly evolve from heavily bacterial to a balanced bacteria to fungi ratio and finally through to fungal dominant. Sadly our actions and practises are pushing the balance back the wrong way. Where healthy prairie grassland soils will have a ratio of 1 to 1 (bacteria to fungi) old growth forest soils can have a ratio of 1000 to 1 in favour of the fungi!
Another aspect of this is weed pressure. They will thrive in less complex bacterial dominant soils whereas they will die out in complex fungal soils - a part of natural ecological succession - you tend not to get weedy forests.
We just need to create the right soil environment for the fungal elements and most of the time they will magically appear and work their collaborative magic.