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A mixture of organic waste and crushed zeolitic tuff when added to soil will boost the population of nitrifying micro-organisms to a high level. The resulting nitrification provides a source of nitrogen, in the form of nitrate, together with a supply of protons which dissociate cations from the soil particulate matter. Phosphorus present in the organic waste is available for plant uptake together with potassium and other elements essential for plant nutrition. The organo-zeolitic-soil system acts biologically to supply plant nutrients, provided air and water are present, and in this respect functions differently to inorganic fertilizers that are currently used to enhance plant growth. The dynamics of the biological fertilizer is controlled by the rate of nitrification and plants growing in such an amended soil environment balance the uptake of nutrient ions to maximise growth. This behaviour has been demonstrated in experiments covering a variety of higher plants grown in both normal and contaminated soils.
Peter J Leggo
Short Communication: Int J Waste Resources