Healthy soil yields healthy plants. We need thorough research to get there. Which is why we have joined forces in NLG Holland to look for the optimum soil conditions for growing healthy and strong bulbs. Sustainable growth is characterised by the decreased use of fertilisers, chemical herbicides and crop protection products. In healthy soil, you will find around 40 tons of microbes, fungi, worms, and insects living in symbiosis. When the level of herbicides or pesticides used is higher, only some 10 tons are left. As a result, the ground is harder. And lacks the right nutrients for healthy crops. This results in:
- soil erosion
For a healthy soil and healthy crops, you need high biodiversity on the ground and in the soil. This is something we would like to explore. Which is why we work closely together with Proeftuin Zwaagdijk in North Holland.
In addition, we carry out our own research at our own farms. This concerns research into:
- strengthening minerals
- enriched compost
- green manure
- plant invigorators
Flowering field margins play an important role, too. They help us to prevent and fight pests such as aphids. Unsprayed field margins attract their natural enemies. Animals such as parasithic wasps, ladybirds, and birds help us get rid of them.
We mainly conduct applied practical research. So far, it has resulted in a number of breakthroughs. Great results, that would have taken another 5 to 10 years of traditional research. They have allowed us to drastically reduce our use of herbicides and crop protection products. By more than 50% in two years’ time. The weed count has dropped. Chiefly because of the fertilisation with lime and trace minerals.
The stem nematode level in the soil has dropped substantially within the course of one year. This success was due to the use of natural products. Soil nutrition with cellulose and chitine, for instance. Furthermore, new types of leaf nutrients are on the way. They will provide the plants with nutrients in a natural way. The nutrients include:
- silicium, and
- trace minerals
We add enzymes and amino acids as well. They enhance the growth of the plants and the quality of the soil life.
Natural soil management
All these measures are taken to promote the microbiology, rather than burdening or killing it. The results so far include:
- improved soil structure
- gas exchange
- high-quality, strong, sustainable, and even completely organically grown flower bulbs
With our knowledge platform, the NLG Holland cooperative invests in natural soil management. A healthy soil will yield healthy plants. We will frequently post our findings on this website. In addition, you can participate in our workshops or open days.