Soilscapes

I’ve been dipping into the latest GROW Observatory online course, which is ostensibly about the results of their monoculture vs polyculture experiment this summer. I wasn’t able to take part due to lack of growing space but it is interesting, nonetheless.

Anyway, I’ve just been introduced to the website for Cranfield Soil and Agrifood Institute called Soilscapes. Basically, this will tell you quite a lot of interesting data about the soil in the U.K. In other words, the site kindly confirmed that my soil was low fertility.

Now, you might ask why I need a website to tell me why annual vegetables won’t grow in my garden. True, I’ve observed such but a part of me believed it was something I was doing rather than the natural state of things.

One thing that I could have clocked but didn’t was that the soil tends towards acidity: gorse and bracken growing practically outside my door. From a soil test, my soil appears to be neutral but then fruit does better than veg and possibly not just because of its perennial nature.

In any case, I feel I’ve joined a couple of dots this morning!

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About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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2 Responses to Soilscapes

  1. It sounds like an interesting course! Although your area’s general soil profile may not be the best, there is a lot you can do about your own space – with composts, green manure, worms, biodynamics (it worked for us), etc. I believe you’re already doing it with your bokashi (if the rats don’t get to it!) Just keep plugging away at it, and slowly things would start growing better. Of course some plants are very specific (e.g. it’ll be crazy to grow avocados where it snows), but with some you can even push the boundaries a bit. We’re on clay on limestone, so it will never get really acidic enough, but we get some berries for our own use. Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Helen says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, Martin. The farm where I get my vegetables is only a mile away (as the crow flies) and has the same soil, so clearly they are doing something right.

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