Always start with the soil!
Firstly, let’s determine the soils current state with a regular grass walk and some soil sampling! Tools you’ll need….
Dig up a 6-inch hole and look for yourself at the soil determining the yield, quality, and efficiency of your end product. So, what are we looking for in the soil profile which could determine our soil fertility?
Worms, usually found within the topsoil, indicate a healthy soil structure and fertility. Depending on the worm count, they add to the nutrient content of the soil by converting organic matter (manure) into a macronutrient (Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K)). Therefore, reducing the need for costly fertilisers.
With results from the soil sample, we can understand the concentration and distribution of nutrients in the soil, so the correct quantity and type of fertiliser is applied. Understanding the ratio of certain nutrients such as Calcium (Ca) and Magnesium (Mg) is vital for nutrient absorption as they compete and can eliminate each other if one is in excess. Also, Mg & Ca allows the soil to flocculate. Flocculation creates a loose soil profile where oxygen, water and nutrients can get through with the correct management.
With the use of legumes and other diverse plants we can control soil structure and fertility, limiting the use of fertilisers. A diverse seed mix such as GS PROGROW, found on our website, will achieve this in the soil. GS PROWGROW, being an extremely versatile mix, contains lucerne. Adding nitrogen fixing legumes into a rotation adds value to the soil fertility the cheapest way possible.
Plant growth nutrients are most limiting in the soil yet are essential to increase forage yields. With this in mind, it is always best to start at the ground upwards!