Friday, 24 April 2009

Planting the Natural England plots

Rolling the field before planting - getting the soil ready for the seeds.

The plots are marked with flags so we know what we have planted in each one and what should be growing!

Planting the seeds

We have been planting the Natural England trial plots for cover crops. What is a cover crop? Well it is plants that are specifically planted by the farmer to cover the ground instead of a food crop such as wheat, oats, barley, vegetables.

Why does the ground need to be covered? Well we can improve the soil quality by planting plants that store nitrogen in their roots, we can improve the structure of the soil so that the soil is not compacted ( pushed together so it does not let water through - this makes flooding more likely as the water cannot get through the soil) or we can use the crops to keep the soil in place so that it does not blow or wash away.

We have twenty four different plots some to promote bees and birds (because they contain seeds for the winter) and some to help soil structure. Please do follow our photo diary.

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