Soil Improvement Services
Our Soil Improvement Services will provide new ways to prepare your vegetable plot or garden for the new growing season. Oftentimes the veggie plot is tilled before the beginning of the season, in order to remove weeds and get the soil ready for sowing.
Tilling the soil doesn’t eradicate the weed problem, it just postpones it. By tilling, we lift weed seeds from deeper layers closer to the surface of the soil. At the same time, we disturb the soil: this has the effect of destroying the microbes that create and maintain structure in the soil. This disturbance also releases carbon that was stored in the soil and may cause compaction layers to form, which reduces water infiltration.
What if we could aerate the soil without the downsides of tilling? Well… we can! The broadfork is a tool designed to do just this. It opens up the soil, which makes it easier for us to pull weeds out. We can also open up and aerate compacted layers and reintroduce oxygen deeper into the soil. It’s minimal disturbance with the benefits of tilling - pretty sweet, yes?
When and where can this service be applied? This type of aeration can be done on lawns and is especially suited to a vegetable plot: an excellent time to aerate the soil is before establishing the vegetable plot or early in the spring before sowings. On its own, aeration is not a fix-all solution: it will depend on your context, whether you will want to add compost or mulch or amend the soil in some way before sowings. A great option is to partner soil aeration with fertilization with vermicast extract.
Fertilization with Vermicast Extract
A common way to fertilize the soil is to add compost or soil mix to create good tilth and boost the soil with nutrients. Often the amount needed can be a problem: a decent-sized garden often requires bag upon bag of compost, which can be tough on the back and the wallet.
Here’s a new option for this: vermicast extract. Vermicast, or worm poop, is what composting worms produce in a worm compost. This soil amendment is full of plant available nutrients, beneficial organisms and organic matter, all of which improve your soil and therefore plant health. Thing is, vermicast is produced relatively slowly, which is one reason it’s several times as expensive as other compost-based amendments. By extracting the nutrients, organisms and organic matter into water, we get a powerful soil amendment, which can fertilize and inoculate a garden of larger size very effectively. Water acts as the carrier of nutrients and microbes, delivering them into the soil (deep into the soil, if it was aerated before) where plants can reap the benefits.
Vermicast extract contains:
a wide variety of both macronutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, etc.) and micronutrients in plant available form
beneficial microbes (bacteria, fungi, protozoa and nematodes) that improve soil structure and cycle nutrients in the soil, further helping your plants
organic matter, which stores both nutrients and water and acts as a buffer in the soil.