All Articles

Soil fungi
Soil fungi

When growing fruit trees it’s vital to have good populations of fungi in the soil. Without adequate fungi trees will struggle to gain the nutrients required for good health. There’s plenty we can do to encourage good fungal growth—by looking a [...]

Soil health checks
Soil health checks

The very basis of growing great organic food is to have healthy soil, so in this article we introduce a few simple tests you can do at home—for little or no cost—to assess the state of health of your soil. This will help you get to know your s [...]

Soil moisture monitoring
Soil moisture monitoring

When watering your fruit trees, the aim is to keep enough water in the soil so the roots always have access to water, without letting the soil get too dry or too wet. This week we explain how to use tensiometers,  a simple water monitoring too [...]

Soil protozoa
Soil protozoa

Protozoa are the next step up the food chain from the single-celled bacteria and fungi. The most common ones that exist in our soils are flagellates, ciliates, and amoeba and, on the scale of these things, are quite large (mostly 0.1–0.5 mm!). [...]

Soil tests: Do I need them
Soil tests: Do I need them

There are lots of things you can test your soil for, but unless you have a specific reason to do so, it’s not usually worth spending much money on it. There are a few simple tests you can do at home, plus three main types of diagnostic tests y [...]

Spring green manure crop
Spring green manure crop

A green manure crop is usually a mix of fast-growing annual plants that are grown for soil improvement. As soon as the crop is tall enough, and before it flowers, it is either dug in or chopped off and left on the surface of the soil to add or [...]

Spring nutrition
Spring nutrition

Fruit trees rely on stored nutrients for flowering, initial root growth and fruit set in spring (this nutrition was provided by the microbes in the soil, and any compost or fertiliser you added last autumn). As they move into spring, the store [...]

Take a nutritional snapshot of your trees
Take a nutritional snapshot of your trees

Taking a nutritional snapshot of your trees will help raise awareness of the nutritional status of your trees, help you plan what needs to happen in the future, and also diagnose potential problems you’re having right now. Read the article in [...]

Understand the soil food web
Understand the soil food web

The soil food web is the most important part of your garden, and in fact of our entire ecosystem—without it, our soils would be sterile and there would be no such thing as organic food. The organisms in the soil are responsible for building so [...]

What is healthy soil?
What is healthy soil?

Fruit trees get their nutrition from the soil. Healthy soil needs to be a happy home for ‘good’ critters—worms are the biggest and most obvious, but there’s thousands of living things in every teaspoon of soil. Healthy soil needs ground cover, [...]

Worms worms worms
Worms worms worms

Worms are one of the most visible signs that your soil is in good condition, and productive. If you have worms, you will also have lots of microbes, but they’re invisible to the naked eye! Read the article in Winter - Week 1.

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