At Hardwick we are always conscious of what is happening with the earthworms within our soils. Horticulture makes intensive demands on soil, its structure, nutrients and biology. Getting to understand more of the earthworm is a very useful soil health indicator. We make much use of green manures, some are long term fertility builders others are over-winter to protect soils and lift nutrients.
The trial we are conducting with ORC is looking at how sowing dates of green manures may influence soil quality and earthworm populations. The trial gives an excellent opportunity to evaluate several soil assessment methods to gain a clearer picture of soil health. We have started to look at some of the results which are very interesting. We are conducting seminars on the farm with farmers and these have been very useful in sharing experiences and information.