Healthy plants grown in a well balanced soil environment will be stronger and more resilient against pest and disease attack. As a consequence they require less chemicals inputs, and are also able to take up and use nutrients more efficiently, requiring less fertilizers as well.
The plants we manage on a daily basis are firmly attached to nature, in fact all the plant species we use have evolved over millions of years in the presence of, and are reliant upon, a team of beneficial organisms that help feed and protect the plant. This is how trees deep in native forests which have never seen human activity, let alone been impacted by our modern fertilizers or chemicals, can grow and produce tonnes of plant material each and every year.
In nature, plants feed, encourage and nurture soil organisms via the process of photosynthesis (the most important process on the planet) where the suns' energy is used to produce carbohydrates (sugars) in the leaf. This rich natural plant food is transferred throughout the plant to fuel many of the plants physiological functions. A significant proportion of this food is directed to the roots, to feed and activate root growth and also to nourish and encourage soil microbes.
For the process of photosynthesis to function at its optimum there are a number of nutritional drivers in the plant which need to be monitored and adjusted if necessary, and the good news is that we now have techniques available to measure, monitor and adjust the photosynthetic process via some relatively simple diagnostic procedures.
There are strong similarities across plant based industries, but in some, such as those involved in turf and amenity pursuits, these natural processes that plants desperately rely on, are severely impacted by the very unnatural management imposed on them. These practices include being introduced into low fertility soils, the constant removal of leaf material (the sugar factory) and the impact from chemicals and fertilizers on beneficial soil organisms.
Unfortunately the trend across most commercial plant based enterprises is for increasing pest and disease pressure and a strong reliance on chemicals to control them. This is despite that fact that there has never been more products available to treat the effects of pests and disease, the problem however, is that in the quest to find products to rectify or minimise the effects of pests and disease, we inadvertently focus our efforts on treating symptoms rather than on understanding causes - in reality we need to do both.
How do we treat the causes? To a large extent it's a question of getting the soil environment, nutrition balance and natural interface between the soil and plant functioning properly. When these things are working well and plants are encouraging their biological helpers, these helpers will in turn forage for plant food, build an Oxygen rich environment around the roots, provide a natural defensive network and a physical environment that pathogens simply don't like.
Of course we can't ignore the need to treat an infestation from pests or disease, but equally we shouldn't ignore the need to deal with thier cause. The best approach is to treat the symptoms (particularly if they are causing economic threat), this should alleviate the symptoms and any immediate pressure, but at the same time we should also begin investigating and treating the causal issues. This way you can achieve long term benefit and a genuine reduction in severity and reoccurrence.
We Need Balance - It's Not About One Approach Or The Other
Our range of organic & biologically based products and unique diagnostic services are designed to help identify and address the cause of soil or plant based management issues, and to build and restore biological and nutitional balance in both the soil and the plant.
Improving plant and soil balance will also ensure you get the maximum value from fertilizer additions, (an issue of increasing importance with the cost of most chemically based inputs linked to diminishing oil reserves). In fact there has never been a better time to implement management strategies that ensure both plants and soils are well balanced, capable of adapting to climatic change and able to use artificial fertilizers and chemical inputs as efficiently as possible.
Our Changing Soils
Rebuilding Soil Balance
Defending Against Pests & Disease