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What are soil conditioners?

Soil conditioners are increasingly popular in UK arable farming. Especially amongst farmers operating regenerative practises. But the term soil conditioner is very rarely defined, and this has led to a lack of uptake in the farming community until recent years.

For simplicity; soil conditioners are products applied to soils to improve the conditions for growing crops. 

Some of the most common modes of actions for soil conditioners include:

  • Altering the availability of nutrients already present in the soil.
  • Improving the nutrient holding capacity of the soil.
  • Improving soil soil structure.
    • Example Eutrema product = Liquid Gypsum.
    • 3rd party example = manure!
  • Improving water holding capacity or water penetration.
    • Example Eutrema product = Yucca Extract.
    • 3rd party example = polyacrylamide gel.

Soil conditioners can be differentiated from:

  • Fertilisers, because, whilst they may alter the availability of a nutrient, their primary aim is not to add extra nutrients.
  • Pesticides, because their primary aim is not to kill pests or pathogens.
  • Biostimulants, because they are not primarily acting directly at improving plant growth. Instead they are acting on the soil, which in turn will hopefully make it more conducive to healthy plant growth.

If you would like to know more about soil conditioners or discuss their use on your farm, please get in touch with our technical team.

7 Comments

  • Laurie Lander

    This product may be helpful in our garden – we live in a ‘new-build’ and the ground is definitely heavy clay. Whatever we do doesn’t seem to help (I understand it’s early days yet, and there’s more work required) our main problem at the moment is that the ground is sodden and we can’t walk on it – I accept that rainfall has been exceptional – what’s not completely clear to me is whether I would need to wait for a dry period before using this product, or can I apply it to the soaking wet lawn / borders? Thanks for your help.

    • Russell

      Hi Laurie
      It would help with aeration and drainage in the clay. For bst results wait until the clay has dried to a point where it will take up the diluted product when it is applied. If you apply it when it is soaking wet then the product won’t be able to get into the clay on the day it is applied (it works on the day it is applied).
      Thanks for your interest.
      Russell

      • Laurie Lander

        Thanks, Russel – that’s helpful.

  • andrea

    Can I use this Grass was laid last sept on a heavy clay soil garden now it’s like a mud bath as the rain water can’t drain into the soil . Would liquid gypsum break some the clay
    Thanks

    • Russell

      Hi Andrea. Yes, it is perfect for use on newly established turf.
      We give full instructions on how to use it in these conditions on the bottle.
      Regards
      Russell

  • Gary Robson

    Hello. We rent 4/5 acres of grazing land 4 different fields. The top field highest up the hill has standing water on the top of the grass, the rain is taking ages to soak away.

    Would your liquid gypsum product help with our issues? Is it suitable to used on grazing land for our horses.

    • Russell

      Hi Gary, thanks for your interest. Yes, Liquid Gypsum will help flocculate the clay in the top soil and sub soil. However, you will need to wait until the soil has dried out (hopefully later this spring or in the summer). That is because the product needs to get down to the clay within hours of being applied. If you were to apply it tomorrow it would just sit on the surface with all the other water. Obviously not the advise you want right now, and not great for our sales, but should prove the greatest chance of success.
      Yes, will be fine to use on grazing land with horses and other livestock.
      Best of luck
      Russell

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