Blueberry Trial Results Significant

See all photos alongside Fennel Farm’s results report HERE.

We transplanted 12 varieties into 10 liter pots on November 30, 2015. The goal is to seek out varieties that will do best in the microclimate here in Aromas, California. If we can find a way to cut down on our fertilizer usage and provide a healthy environment where life can thrive in a container we are willing to try just about anything to achieve that objective. We are whole heartedly dedicated to organic philosophies and believe that being organic does no necessarily mean you have to grow in the ground.

An organic substrate system is entirely different to a conventional substrate system simply due to the fact that any fertilizer we provide must go through a process in order for plants to uptake the nutrients. So what we try to do is create an environment where microbes, fungi, and a great many other living organisms can thrive and “process” the fertilizer and organic matter. This in turn creates the optimum conditions for a plant to grow in.

Prior to application of the worm casting tea, note the yellow tips that are a sign of high nitrate (NO3), the blueberry plant depends on ammonium nitrate (NH4) as the main nitrogen source. Organic fertilizer does not come with a balanced nitrogen source. Organic fertilizer does not come with a balanced nitrogen source only water soluble so after a period of time the nitrogen sources begin to get broken down by microbial and fungal life within the media. But these living organisms do not know to stop after they produce NH4 and continue on the nitrogen cycle.

Three months after the first application and only days after the last we have noticed a difference in the substrate chemistry and the diversity in life has bloomed immensely in the substrate. The plants have made a noticeable difference as well, including their ability to tolerate stresses and continuing the production of new growth long after moving out of their vegetative state and into their productive stage.

After the last application, three months after the first application and only days after the last, we have noticed a difference in the substrate chemistry and the diversity in life has bloomed immensely in the substrate. The plants have made a noticeable difference as well, including their ability to tolerate stresses and continuing the production of new growth long after moving out of their vegetative state and into their productive stage.

After the last application, take note that roots now reach the bottom of the container and the substrate no longer falls apart.  New branches have emerged from the crown and older branches have grown significantly. There is a much fuller canopy and new shoots have emerged from the crown.

Roots have created mats and are now being replaced with deeper roots which completely reach the base of the container. After the last application of tea, root mass has begun to reach the bottom of the container and the density has increased in the root mass. Note how tender and prolific these new roots are. There is much fuller head and new branch development. The leaves have really colored well. This is one of the more sensitive varieties and has become much more stress tolerable.

This product works well in that it helps the organic matter flocculate well and retain the pore spaces, which in turn has increased the water holding capacity reducing the number of irrigation periods. It also has created the ideal environment biological, in that it is inoculating the rhizosphere with lots of beneficial microbes which in turn balance out the substrate allowing larger organisms like worms to thrive in.    – Cecile, Fennel Farms, Salinas CA