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Dot Appleby –
April 27, 2023


Soil health is incredibly important to our business. Without healthy and nutritious soil, the plants simply won’t grow, I will have nothing to sell and this ceases to be a viable business. One of the things we do to ensure soil health is that we soil test each year and then react accordingly. Not only will this show me what state the soil is in now but it will give me a clear strategy to improve it and set a benchmark to build on for the years to come.

Our main reasons for testing the soil are always:

  • to get the strongest, healthiest crop
  • to ensure that the soil quality improves for years to come
  • to avoid waste on unnecessary or inappropriate plant food
  • to identify the best-suited plants to grow (and those that will hate it)
  • Efficient, responsible and cost-effective care of the land.


The ‘no dig’ ethos is a growing trend and there are some wonderful guiding books out there to reference. I think I can say now that it’s widely accepted that the less you disturb the soil structure, the more resilient the land is to environmental shift. Our ground is ridge and furrow, demonstrating that it is unlikely it has ever been deep ploughed and therefore our soil structure is well established. If we can avoid disturbing this then it will benefit everyone involved.

However, we are on heavy clay and this can be an inhospitable environment for the microorganisms that are essential to create a happy environment for plant growth. Also, the clay has a tendency to form large ribbons underground that hold water and create whole sections of boggy and unusable ground during the winter months. In the years to come plenty of natural compost, mulch and a light touch should naturally start to loosen the soil structure. There are friendly biological additives we could use on the soil and we will have this to consider in the years to come.

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Field 216 FAQs

Anyone! Just ask for what you need and i’ll see if I can help!

They are all different. It depends on what you want, how many and when? If they are not displayed in the shop then please ask and I’ll always help if I can.

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We don’t use anything nasty, no herbicides, pesticides or other chemicals but we are not accredited as ‘organic’

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