at its 'organik' best!
mechanisms that regulate the activities in the soil are as complex as
those that regulate our body. When they are in balance, everything is
fine, but if something changes this balance, we are faced with
catastrophic consequences. In the same way, when we use synthetic
products, we are shifting the balance and creating the same situation.
The Law of Minimum (Liebig, 1840) simply put, states that: a minimal
amount of elements is needed to assure a minimal growth. If everything is
balanced, maximum growth can be expected. The Law of Tolerance (Shelford,
1911) demonstrates how, if an element is in shortage or is extremely
available, this can also affect the presence of organisms (Figure 1).
Figure 1 Tolerance Law
The problem lies with the use of synthetic products. The use of
synthetic products destroys the regulation process that naturally occurs
in soil. Soils that are exposed to synthetic products are stripped of the
all-important substances contained in organic matter. Destroying this also
creates more pressure on the environment. Organic matter is vital to the
soil. A soil that contains organic matter will have better aeration, will
retain more humidity, will maintain a constant temperature, will be more
resistant to illness, favours nutrition (by controlling the flow of
elements), consumes dead matter, etc… Continuous use of synthetic
products can put the plants, and the soil, in a vulnerable situation.
With this in mind, we can prepare a strategy to work with nature, and
to enhance the natural processes in a way that may benefit all. Let's take
a look at the importance of the needs of the plant, and the gains that may
occur when these needs are properly managed.
In our temperate climate, it is important to know how plants live and
the specific nutritional needs that they have during the growing seasons.
In general, a plant will go through these stages: sleep, quick aerial
growth, root system development, seed/fruit preparation, pre-sleep period,
and sleep. With these phases in mind, we can prepare a plan accordingly.
In spring, after waking up from a long sleep, plants need a source of
nitrogen and minerals to begin the growing season.
Figure 2 Aerial growth
In late spring and early summer, the aerial growth of a plant is steady
and the root system is starting to establish itself. Plants still need
nitrogen, but also require phosphorus and minerals. During the summer
period, plants face drought and high temperatures; the demand for nitrogen
is reduced to a minimum during this period. When temperatures reach 30oC,
plants are not able to maintain their activities. This stress period
requires additional minerals.
Figure 3 Root development
In late summer, early fall, plant growth is average. Preparation for
the seedlings is already in progress. Plants are also getting ready to
sleep for the winter. The demand for nitrogen is very low at this time,
but phosphorus, potassium and minerals are in demand.
Figure 4 Regeneration
In the fall, growth has almost stopped because the temperatures and
photoperiod are near the minimal tolerable limits. Plants do not require
nutrition at this point, until spring comes. The only amendment that may
be applied at this time is lime.
By looking at the specific needs of a plant, we can prepare an action
plan. In normal conditions, it can be possible to satisfy a plant's
nutritional needs with 3 or 4 applications. Here is an overview of the
1 Application of slow-release fertilizers and minerals
2 Application of a fast action fertilizer, and minerals
3 Application of a fast action fertilizer *
4 Mineral application
* this step may be skipped
When this type of program is implemented, we can hope to achieve
maximum results. We will also improve the overall health of the soil. The
soil will be able to transform the nutrients more efficiently, which will
increase and stimulate growth, and will minimize the time needed for care.
It is also important to mention that these "management" methods
will reduce the risk of disease, the risk of infestation and reduce the
stress on the plant and soil. Healthy soil is like a healthy immune system
of a person.
It is unrealistic to say that these methods of integrated nutrition
will eliminate all problems. Some factors are not easy to predict or to
control. It is important to observe and understand the signs that Nature
presents. With this in mind, we have to remember these basic points:
- insects are not always the cause of the problem, if they are, who
- some procedures/actions will favour diseases, insects, mushrooms
- climate considerations
- type of plant
- malnutrition (too little / too much / pH)
By correctly evaluating the situation, it is possible to find a quick
solution that will be extremely efficient. In some cases, specialized
products are needed to correct the situation.
The style of soil management and ecological practice mentioned in this
article is the same style that drives the practices of Organik Touch.
Organik Touch is a pioneer in the field of natural solutions, which
encourage the life of the soil and the proper development of the plant. We
offer ecological products and services, which gives us the chance to help
protect the environment at various levels.
We also carry a range of products that will offer alternatives to
various situations. We currently offer products and services including:
- Lawn care
- Fertilizers for lawn, garden, flowers, trees and shrubs
- Biological pest control products (traps, glues, bait,…)
- Organic certified and non-treated seeds
- Planning and consulting (garden, lawn, crop rotation, green
- Conferences and presentations
You can reach us at the following coordinates:
C/O Marc Landry
233 Godin St.
Telephone : (506) 542-2147
Fax : (506) 542-2148
Email : email@example.com
Web : www.organik.nb.ca