Thursday, June 11, 2015

denitrifying bacteria - metabolizing to keep the world breathing

Denitrifying bacteria convert nitrates in soul into atmospheric oxygen. As a gardener, I need to maintain the levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in my soil. These bacteria are one of the ways that soil nitrogen is depleted.

When you fertilize your garden, if you used 16-4-8 fertilizer, you'd be adding material consisting of 16% nitrogen, 4% P2O5, and 8% K2O. You need to use the right one or you'll end up turning your garden into a low grade phosphorus mine.

However, we can't blame these microorganisms too much. They're pretty crucial to life on the planet. Nitrates are highly soluble and readily absorb into water. Without denitrifying bacteria, the nitrogen would eventually accumulate in the oceans and the atmosphere would end up nitrogen free.

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