ROTATING THE CROPS

In organic farming, crop rotation is vital for replenishing the fertility of the soil whilst reducing the impact of weeds, diseases and pests. So we grow a wide variety of legumes including clover, grass leys, mustard, beans, peas, and turnips as well as our cereal crops. We also split many of these crops between autumn sowing and spring sowing to break the lifecycles and germination periods of pests and weeds.

BUILDING FERTILITY

In conventional farming, crop nutrition is supplied by artificial fertilisers. But these only deliver a short-term 'boost' to the soil, and they can lead to environmental pollution. At Pertwood we encourage our soil to retain its fertility by using 'slow release' forms of nutrients such as well composted manures and clover or beans. We'll never turn away the chance to convert local pig slurry into our crops food either. By re-cycling composts and other sources of carbon into the soil, we steadily raise the soil's microbiological activity which improves its powers of filtration. Without fail, with every passing year of being organic our soils look, feel and simply are better.

CONTROLLING PESTS - NATURALLY

No synthetic pesticides are used in organic farming. So to help prevent weeds from taking over, we select crops and varieties that are vigorous and which smother weeds. We also control weeds by using mechanical cultivations in combination with the weather for example when frosts are forecast, as well as alternating forage crops with cereals. To control pests and disease we select varieties that are naturally resistant. That's as well as regularly rotating our crops.