Fruit and Veg
Regardless of the crop you want to produce, your most important asset is your soil.
‘Fruit and veg’ cover a wide range of crops so although there are only a few mentioned here, we can advise on the following: Root vegetables, Brassicas, Lettuces, Maize, Onions, Peas, Beans, Asparagus, Fruit trees, and Soft fruits. Please contact us for specific information if required.
The main role for nitrogen in most crops is to build protein, maintain green leaf area and promote the conversion of sunlight into plant food. This is particularly important for potatoes where canopy management directly relates to tuber bulking rates and dry matter accumulation.
Dependent on variety and growing conditions, potatoes need a constant supply of nitrogen from tuber initiation onwards in order to deliver uniformity of grade size and tuber quality; however, potatoes are sensitive to increasing levels of soil nitrogen which can effect tuber set and encourage crops to develop more above ground than below.
To improve tuber size and evenness, apply a foliar feed that includes all necessary trace elements including calcium, zinc and believe it or not – selenium. Trials undertaken in Finland showed that selenium increased carbohydrate accumulation and yield as a result of the antioxidant properties delaying senescence. High selenium in the tubers improves storage quality as well as improving processing qualities.
Carrots are especially susceptible to soil compaction and low ‘available’ calcium will increase the risk of cavity spot. You can have a high pH soil but still have a low ‘available’ level of calcium. The fact is that pH measures acidity in the soil it does NOT measure calcium. If this is the case, you need to make the calcium more ‘available’.
All of the above (see carrots) is also true for lettuces, but here we may need to consider more of the soil organisms, especially Mycorrhizal fungi which will help protect the crop from soil borne disease. Mycorrhizal fungi will cause soil particles to aggregate which in turn improves water infiltration, increases air space and encourages other beneficial microbes to build humus, fix nitrogen and improve soil structure.