Amendments for soil health in fruit

This field lab aims to investigate how the addition of different soil amendments affects soil health in fruit production systems.

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Field Lab Timeline

    11/2/2016 12:00:00 PM
  • First meeting

    First meeting
  • 2/28/2017 12:00:00 PM
  • Individual conversations with growers

    Individual conversations with growers
  • 4/2/2017 11:00:00 AM
  • Second meeting

    Second meeting
  • 7/30/2017 11:00:00 AM
  • Third meeting

    Third meeting
  • 12/31/2017 12:00:00 AM
  • Amendments being added (ongoing)

    Amendments being added (ongoing)
  • 3/30/2018 11:00:00 AM
  • Project summary meeting

    Project summary meeting
For further information hover over the above milestone marks
  • Discussion

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  • Achievements

    December 2017

    Field lab article published in the Fruit Grower

    Great article on the October field lab open day with updates on the trials published in the Fruit Grower. View the article in the Field Lab docs [free login required].

    Milestone: Third meeting

    October 2017

    Field lab status update meeting held - 2 October 2017

    A meeting was held at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxon. There were 18 attendees including representatives from 3 participating farms. The attendees were a mixture of orchard managers and gardeners, many of whom were there for the first time demonstrating a continued interest in the project.

    There were updates from the trials including from the three participating sites present. See the GREATsoils fruit soil amendments update - October 2017 presentation from the day in Field Lab Documents [Free login required]. This was followed by a presentation by Dr Paul Alexander, RHS soil scientist, on using organic matter as a soil conditioner in horticulture.

    The Day finished with a visit to the Le Manoir orchard where enriched biochar is being tested.

    James Dewhurst led a tour of the Le Manoir

    Milestone: Third meeting

    April 2017

    Reviewed progress and methods

    The meeting was held at Tolhurst Organic in Oxon. There were 18 attendees including 6 from participating producers.

    Anja Vieweger of ORC presented on methods for setting up relatively easy and cost effective field experiments to reliably compare different soil amendments on your field. The trial participants gave feedback on their experiments so far. The group also gathered input for for finalising of the field lab proposal.

    Iain Tolhurst led a field visit of the agroforestry field and trial site, including a woodchip composting and demonstration of the field experiment setup.

    Milestone: Second meeting

    March 2017

    Growers contacted to discuss trial plans

    Sally Westaway of ORC contacted participating producers to discuss their plans for trialling inputs.

    Milestone: Individual conversations with growers

    November 2016

    Content of trial agreed.

    An initial group of nine growers decided to take part in the trial. Included in the trials will be enriched biochar, digestate, wood chip, green waste, wood chip as mulch, mycorrhiza, ramila woodchip compost.

    The kick off meeting, held in Kent, included technical presentations from:
    - Dr Louisa Robsinson Boyer of Plant Works will be speaking to us about mycorrhizae
    - James MacPhail of Carbon Gold speaking about Biochar
    - Sally Westaway of ORC speaking about ramila woodchip compost

    There are a number of other growers who couldn't come to the meeting who are interested in taking part. They will be contacted.

    Milestone: First meeting

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