Translate site:

Published Articles

Waverly Farm owner Jerry Faulring writes a regular column called ‘It’s Time for Sharing’ for Free State Nursery, Landscape & Greenhouse News, a publication of the Maryland Nursery, Landscape, and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA). Published three times each year, Jerry’s articles are straight up stories of his successes and failures on the Farm with an intent to reflect on his experiences as a grower and share what he’s learned.

Posts about Soil Management

tractor-spreads-compost-at-field-production-nursery

5 minute read

Soil Loss from a Field Production Nursery

Sustainably managing soil health as a cost of doing business

What is the best way for growers to replace soil that gets shipped out with each root ball? Replacement cost for high quality soil is prohibitively expensive. So, many of us turn a blind eye to the problem. But you can only ignore soil loss for so long. A reliable soil replacement system will cost you, but it sure beats the alternative.

Soil Management
Read More
erosion-caused-by-improper-soil-managment

7 minute read

Soils Have a Nasty Habit of Moving

How to manage erosion in your nursery operation

Soil erosion is common for several reasons: 1) rate of rainfall exceeds a soil’s ability to absorb it, 2) lack of vegetation, 3) compacted and or poorly drained soils limit infiltration. We cannot control the rate of rainfall, but we can control the other variables. Compacted soil can be addressed with the right tillage equipment along with compost and soil amendments.. Cover crops can keep soil from wandering, too.

Soil Management
Read More
mychorrizal-fungae-in-soil-benefits-plants

3 minute read

Mycorrhizae

Should growers inoculate soil with mycorrhizal fungi when planting liners - Yes? or No?

Mycorrhizal fungal filaments in the soil act as extensions of a root system-- and are more effective in nutrient and water absorption than the roots themselves! More than 90 percent of plant species in natural areas form a symbiotic relationship with their beneficial mycorrhizal fungi. Aside from enhancing plant efficiency in absorbing water and nutrients, mycorrhizal interaction with root systems reduces fertilization and irrigation requirements.

Soil Management
Read More

10 minute read

The Soil Food Web

The three elements of a healthy soil ecosystem

Healthy soil is composed of an interconnected web of vibrant living organisms. When managed respectfully, no synthetic inputs are required. In the reverse, if we abuse healthy soil, we will end up doing stupid things to force it to cooperate with our efforts. A healthy soil ecosystem includes arthropods, bacteria, fungi, and plant roots. Working together, they provide all the nutrition needed for plants to thrive. Organic matter, not fertilizer, is the key to maintaining a healthy soil food web.

Soil Management
Read More
IMANTS-tiller-enriching-soil-with-compost

10 minute read

Perfecting Landscape Soils

It's all about compost composition

Making your landscape soil as perfect as possible isn’t just a matter of throwing compost at it. Compost composition can vary widely, and can be either fungal or bacterial dominated. It is believed that fungal dominated soils favor the growth of woody plants and perennials while bacterial dominated soils favor the growth of food bearing plants, annuals, and grasses. So you’ve got to start with an analysis of the proposed organic matter to be incorporated.

Soil Management
Read More