Biodynamic practice includes using field sprays, compost preparations and a planting calendar that indicates when to carry out tasks. This webpage of the UK-based Biodynamic Association allows you to access guidelines on biodynamic preparations used to stimulate biological activity in the soil and help balance soil and plant life interactions. ‘Biodynamic Spray Preparations’ focuses on Horn Manure (500) and Horn Silica (501). It covers storage, how and when they can be used, stirring and water use, and spraying techniques. ‘Biodynamic Compost Preparations’ introduces yarrow, chamomile, stinging nettle, oak bark and dandelion preparations and liquid valerian extract. It describes storage, usage, compost application, and incorporation within manure and slurry. ‘Barrel Preparation and Mausdorf Starter’ covers storage, potential benefits, application, stirring and spraying, and different ways it can be used. ‘Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) Preparations’ explains what it is used for, the differences between horsetail varieties, collection, preparation, fermentation, spraying and application.
Findings & recommendations
- Horn Manure is used to stimulate soil vitality, encourage deeper rooting systems, increase earthworm activity and aid soil moisture retention.
- Horn Silica is applied to enhance plant growth and maturation and stabilise plant metabolism. It is used to enhance crop quality at certain times in the growth cycle and is noted for its capacity to improve dry matter content, sugar and ripeness.
- The Compost Preparations are used to regulate the organic processes and treat garden compost, manure piles, deep litter beds, liquid manure and slurry. Each preparation has its own function but when combined, can help bring balance and stability to the soil.
- The Barrel Preparation or Mausdorf Starter (a dried form that can be stored for longer) is treated with applications of the Compost Preparations. They are used to stimulate soil activity, enhance the humus forming processes of the soil, initiate the correct fermentation of manure, and activate organic matter conversion in composts.
- The Horsetail Preparation is used to counteract mildew and blight and to control the fungus processes.
- You can access other information from this web page including guidelines on growing and harvesting the Preparation herb plants, using the sowing and planting calendar and converting your farm.