05 Nov SOIL ASSOCIATION certified FARMER finds solution to losing the soil fertility provided by his pig manure.
We are Soil Association certified organic growers and as our website shows we sell organic veggie boxes to the local area. Prior to 2001’s Foot and Mouth disaster the manure from our pedigree Gloucestershire Old Spots kept our soil fertile. Whilst free from Foot and Mouth ourselves, we sold our pigs to concentrate on veg, and our soil fertility has been harder to maintain with green manures alone.
Our Brassicas suffered transplant shock and rarely achieved their full potential. Similarly, celery and celeriac seemed held back and had yellowing foliage. The soil pH was 6 to 6.5, but instead of liming, we tried top dressing some plants with a few bags of volcanic rock dust from the Organic Gardening Catalogue and the results were encouraging. The next year we bought a bulk bag and upped the volcanic rock dust dosage to a small handful / plant as we transplanted. The results spoke for themselves – crops were back to full health and improved vigour, and we have confidence that our soil fertility is building again.
We have also solved our application challenge by investing in a used tractor mounted FLEXISPREADER that is ideal for volcanic rock dust.
So whilst not a scientific trial, we have seen the result of applying volcanic rock dust for ourselves – and our first loose bulk load arrives next week for application just before our leeks are transplanted.