Every season starts with a soil test up in the Teen Ag plot. We'll take the soil test and then off to the University of Maine laboratory, where it is analyzed and returned with a full nutrient analysis. This helps us decide what sorts of nutrients may need to be added to the soil, and at what quantity. The 3 primary macro-nutrients are:
- Stimulates vegetative plant growth
Increases water use efficiency, enzyme activation and stress management in extreme temperatures
Major component in plants DNA and also crucial for root development, flowering and seed creation
When we use the water wheel in to transplant crops during the spring in summer months, we add fish emulsion liquid fertilizer to our water tank, meaning we are watering crops with an organic fertilizer with high concentrations of phosphorus. This gives the crop a jumpstart and helps overcome any stress from leaving the greenhouse and entering the field.
During this time of year, we slowly decrease the scale of vegetable production, while removing spent crop matter and applying pelletized chicken manure with cover crop seed. This helps to fertilize the ground that our crops have just drawn nutrients out of, while also stimulating cover crop growth.
In late fall, we will get a large application of manure. It will spend the winter and early spring decomposing and adding nutrients to the ground.