We are experimenting with all kinds of growing techniques that improve the soil and are not organic but regenerative- building fertility and creating more habitats for wildlife. Here are some of the methods we are experimenting with, more info to follow as we grow:
Hugelkultur- making beds with lots of organic matter buried underneath like rotting logs, turf and organic waste. We have built these in the flower garden and the soil is already noticeably more rich, water retentive and hopefully fertile.
No dig beds- we have brought in an awful lot of cow manure and council compost to build up fertile beds in the polytunnel. So far we have noticed a huge amount of wire worm eating the roots of our crops.. but nevertheless we have created very fertile beds for the crops to grow in..
Ramial Wood Chip Mulch- we spent a good while in the woods in the depths of winter chipping deciduous small diameter wood. This is a beneficial mulch for perennial crops as it creates a forest floor environment encouraging mycorrhizal activity helping the plants take up nutrient from the soil and conserving water. We have a left a strip of soft fruit without the special woodchip to see if it makes a difference.. watch this space..