Soil is the foundation of a healthy garden, and maintaining healthy soil is essential to growing healthy plants. Soil contaminated with toxins and chemicals can harm plants and prevent them from growing properly. One way to purify the soil and remove harmful contaminants is to use enzymes. In this article, we will discuss how enzymes can be used to purify the soil.
What are Enzymes?
Enzymes are natural substances in living organisms such as plants, animals, and microorganisms. It is a catalyst that can accelerate chemical reactions in the body, breaking down complex molecules into simpler forms. In soil purification, enzymes break down organic matter and pollutants in the soil, making them easier to remove.
How do Enzymes Purify Soil?
Enzymes do not purify the soil by themselves, but they do so by breaking down harmful pollutants and organic matter. Enzymes can take organic pollutants such as petroleum, herbicides, and pesticides and break them down into smaller and less toxic molecules, making them less harmful to plants and easier to remove from the soil.
Types of Enzymes Used for Soil Purification
Several types of enzymes can be used for soil purification, including
- Lipases- These enzymes break down fats and oils, making them useful in breaking down petroleum and other hydrocarbon contaminants.
- Proteinases- These enzymes break down proteins and can be used to break down animal manure and other protein contaminants.
- Cellulases- Cellulose is a major component of plant cell walls and these enzymes can be used to break down plant material in the soil.
- Amylases- These enzymes break down starch, thus helping to break down food waste and other starch-based contaminants.
- Peroxidases - These enzymes catalyze the oxidation of organic compounds and can be used to help break down a variety of contaminants in the soil, including pesticides, dyes, and other industrial chemicals.
How to Use Enzymes to Purify the Soil
Purifying soil with enzymes is a simple process that can be accomplished in a few easy steps:
- Test the soil- Before using enzymes to decontaminate soil, the soil must be tested to determine the type and extent of the contamination. Use a soil test kit or send a soil sample to a lab for analysis to complete this step.
- Choose the right enzyme - Once you know the type of contamination, you can choose the right enzyme for the job. For example, lipases can be used for petroleum-based contaminants, while cellulases can be used for plant-based contaminants.
- Applying enzymes - You can apply enzymes to the soil in different ways. For example, by mixing an enzyme solution or powder with water or nutrients and applying it directly to the soil; or by using specialized equipment to inject the enzyme solution into the soil, a method that is particularly effective for soils with low permeability.
- Wait- Depending on the type and extent of contamination, enzymes can take weeks or months to break down contaminants. Therefore you will also need to monitor progress regularly and adjust your treatment as needed.
- Remove contaminants- Once the enzymes have broken down the contaminants, they must be removed from the soil. You can use a soil amendment to absorb and remove the contaminants, or just use clean soil instead.
Benefits of Using Enzymes for Soil Purification
There are several benefits to using enzymes for soil purification, including
- Environmentally friendly- enzymes are naturally degradable substances that reduce the risk of hazardous chemical contamination and minimize the risk of harmful substances to plants and the environment.
- Effective- Enzymes work on a wide range of organic pollutants, including petroleum, pesticides, and other industrial chemicals, and they can also be used in different soils and environments, including sandy soils, clay soils, and wetlands.
- Cost-effective- Enzymes are relatively inexpensive and require less equipment and labor. This will greatly reduce the cost of excavation and transportation.
Decontaminating soil with enzymes is an effective and natural way to promote healthy plant growth by distinguishing the type of contamination and choosing the right enzyme and applying it correctly, you can break down harmful substances and remove them from the soil. With the right approach and care, you can restore your soil to a healthy and productive state.