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Soil Creature Feature: Proturan

When your soil is full of beneficial microorganisms improving the health of your soil, your plants are vigorous and beautiful.

Healthy soils are the building blocks of any successful garden. The health of your soil will dictate the success and the density of beneficial organisms that exist within it. Maintaining an organic garden regimen is the best way to protect those important populations. Check out Proturans, in this latest soil creature feature!

Proturans, also known as coneheads, are soil dwelling hexapods that can be found in soils around the world. They have no eyes or antennae. Due to their extremely small size, less than 2mm, they were not discovered until the 20th century. These small organisms come from many families with over 700 species total. Proturans are usually pale brown or white and have a cylindrical or elongated body. These beneficial soil dwellers consume detritus, which is decaying matter including fallen leaves, mosses, and fungi in the soil. They also eat the larvae of other creatures. By feeding on organic matter, they break it down, releasing valuable nutrients to your lawn and landscape plants.

They also feed on mycorrhizal fungi, another beneficial soil organism. So, when you boost mycorrhizal fungi in your soil, you can also boost the population of organisms such as Proturans.

Proturans are typically found in the first 4-inches of your soil and thrive in moist conditions. They do not do well in extreme acidic soils and would most likely be found under trees or shrubs where soil is shaded and kept cool. As with most beneficial soil dwellers, their populations thrive when water is managed with consistency, soil is aerated from time to time, and is fed with organic soil conditioners.

Soils Alive’s soil conditioning treatments protect and encourage populations of beneficial soil organisms, such as proturans. Active soils keep the organic content high, which in turn improves moisture consistency. You can boost beneficial soil organisms populations by keeping soil properly watered and fed, especially during the heat of the summer.

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