Saturday, 12 April 2008

treasure lost?

Washing out through our bare, winter soils, like dry sand through our opened fingers, are the nutrients we have spent so long trying to build up.

For organic growers this can be a real problem. we do not use chemical fertilisers and treasure the natural fertility that mulching, manuring and composting give us.

When the soil was bare in autumn, we planted field beans to:

  • hold soil structure together and reduce leaching of nutrients
  • provide leaf cover to dissipate the compacting effects of heavy winter rains
  • store up in stems, roots and leaves soil nutrients that could be released back into the soil when needed.
Here, the roots have been hoed and stems and stalks chopped and left on the soil surface for incorporation by worms. The end quarter of the bed has been covered with opaque plastic to see whether this speeds the worm activity.

Meanwhile, back in the greenhouse, early peas 'Feltham First' have been raised and now the first batch have been hardened off ready for planting out.

I just need time!!!!!

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