Maximising soil health

Back to presentations: Annual Conference 2018 – Back to basics

Simon Parfey, Owner SoilBioLab and Soil Hub International

Simon’s passion for helping people grow better plants and crops was born through extensive experience gained from working within a demanding commercial horticulture sector – supplying cut flowers to Retail Multiples in the UK. Simon decided to take an interest in soils a step further and move in to a role that enabled him to manage biological innovations and product design at a unique laboratory and large-scale compost site on one of the UK’s leading Organic and Bio-dynamic farms.

Simon established SoilBioLab and Soil Hub International 5 years ago to use specialist scientific techniques to help growers understand and manage their soil and growing media better and provide high quality advice and solutions. This has led to involvement in high level projects and research, partnering with organisations such as the Soil Association on field-based trials on large arable crops and the British Institute of Golf and Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) with annual microscope training workshops.

Simon also works for the UK’s leading arboricultural consultancy Treework Environmental Practice.

SoilBioLab Compost Tea Trial Report

SoilBioLab Compost Tea Trial Report: Assessing the effect of brewing time and added microbial foods on the quality of aerated compost tea. Andrea Araujo, Jennifer Ings and Simon Parfey.

Compost tea (CT) is a water based microbiological inoculant containing high levels of bacteria and fungi produced from compost. This is applied to crops improve soil and plant health and increase plant growth. This investigation aimed to identify the optimum conditions to produce a CT containing the highest levels of active microbial biomass. By varying the components of the CT mix and length of time that it was brewed, an ideal mix of compost, molasses and humic acid with a brew time of 24 hours was identified as providing the highest overall active and total microbial biomass.