April Meeting

Eddie Bailey gave a talk entitled, ‘Rhizophyllia, the Soil Food Web and No-Dig Gardening; his enthusiasm was infectious and the subject fascinating.

Eddie talked about the importance of the many and varied microbes in the soil, using great visuals to illustrate their differing forms, movements and speeds.

We were informed how they all play a part in making nutrients available to keep what we grow healthy; by what they eat and excrete, and the connections made by mycorrhizal fungi and bacteria with plant roots to exchange and gather minerals.

Eddie explained it is vital to feed the soil, keeping these microorganisms healthy and in balance so that they can function. He warned that digging, leaving soil bare over winter, (mulching recommended), compaction , synthetic fertilizers and insecticides can disrupt this web.

Eddie touched on making compost advising us to invest in a thermometer to check the temperatures of our heaps; up to 70* will kill weed seeds whilst above 70* will kill helpful organisms, (time to make holes with a broom handle).

Another tip from Eddie – cut comfrey leaves and add to compost heaps to break down and feed the soil rather than make comfrey tea. Soaking will gas-off most of its nitrogen and produce other chemicals that give it that nasty niff – these can burn roots if applied too concentrated.

This talk left us hungry for more!

Check out his website for more information www.rhizophyllia.co.uk

Eddie Bailey