Biodynamics is easy … I want to say this right from the beginning. It does not mean you have to spend many hours making strange brews or spend loads of money. All the preparations, ready to stir, and the star calendar are available from your local BD association.
The preparations are used in two ways …
- spray preparations that are used directly on the soil and plants
- compost preparations that (as their name suggests) work in the compost heap.
Both the spray preps are made using a cow’s horns as the container and are sometimes known as the “horn preps”. The compost preps are made in all sorts of things and are more complex to make. How is dealt with in the “Making the Preparations” chapter but, as I said above, you don’t need to do this unless you wish to. All the preps are available for sale, cheaply, through your national biodynamic association.
What you have to do is turn them into a form that the soil and plants can use and that’s what we’re going to do in this chapter. For both horn preparations, horn manure (500) and horn silica (501), you do this by stirring a very small portion of either in a bucket of water for an hour.
You need only a very small amount of either prep. For the horn manure, a piece about the length of your first thumb-joint stirred into an ordinary household-size plastic bucket half full of water will do the whole of the average town garden. For horn silica, a quarter of a teaspoon in half a bucket of water will be quite enough for most people’s veg and flowers. It really is a case of less-is-more.
The preparations are not fertilisers to be sprayed onto the ground in great quantities. As you’ll see, you actually flick droplets onto the soil with a large wallpaper brush or spray plants with a fine sprayer. Using the brush may make you feel a bit silly at first, especially if your neighbours see you, but you really won’t care once you’re munching those delicious raspberries or vegetables, or enjoying the beautiful, healthy flowers.
The next blog will be about how to actually prepare and use prep 500 – the horn manure.