Aerobic – Needing oxygen to live
Anaerobic – Refers to an environment with little or no oxygen or organisms that require little or no oxygen to live
Bio agriculture – The agricultural practice of growing all crops in full symbiosis with the nature, using only natural elements, developing self-sufficiency, working with different distribution network.
Biomass – The cumulative mass of all living things in a given environment
Carbon Nitrogen ratio – A ratio expressing by weight the number of parts carbon to each part nitrogen. It also expresses the maturity of compost. Good compost should have a C/N ratio below 20/1
Cellulose – The most abundant organic compound on earth
Compost – Biologically produced matter adding value to green wastages. After having passed by different steps the matter is ready to be used in the soil as fertilizer or soil amendment depending on its characteristics
Dolomite – Calcium, magnesium carbonate (magnesium lime). Dolomite is used in soil with a high p/H
Eutrophy – Refers to the excessive nutrient enrichment of ponds or lakes, causing the accelerated growth of plants and microorganisms and depletion of oxygen
Humification – The biological process of converting organic matter into humus
Humus – The first coat of soil also know as vegetable soil
Intercropping – The agricultural practice of growing two or more crops at the same time to increase the yield of the main crop. Intercropping overtime decreases the requirements of chemical fertilizers
Macro nutrients – The most important nutritive elements for a plant, expressed usually in %. There are: Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K). Other macro nutrients are Calcium (Ca), Magnesium (Mg) and Sulphur (S)
Micro nutrients – All nutrients needed by the plant other than the 3 main ones (N,P,K). These nutrients are necessary for the plant to grow and can inhibit the growth if not available. The main micro nutrients are Boron (B), Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn), Iron (Fe), Chlorine (Cl) (Molybdenum (Mo) and Manganese (Mn)
Mineralized – The biological process of transforming organic compounds into non-organic compounds
Monoculture – The cultural practice of growing only one variety of crops in a specific area every season without variance
Mulch – Any kind of organic covering added on top of your soil to keep moisture in the soil, balance soil temperature and help in reducing erosion. Mulch does not bring a lot of nutrients
Nitrogen – Highly mobile nutrient involved in the plant growth. Nitrogen is necessary when the plant start to make new leaves (at the beginning of the yearly growing cycle). Nitrate is the form of nitrogen most often used by plants.
N-P-K – Symbols in a fertilizer grade that represent Nitrogen, available Phosphorus, and soluble Potash
OM – Abbreviation for Organic Matter
Organic fertilizer – A fertilizer made only out of organic raw materials, raised with time and without any EM (enriched micro organisms) unless self-made
Organic Matter – The part of the soil that contains nutrients and micro organisms. Organic Matter is an important reserve of carbon an essential element for the growing of plants. A low Organic Matter soil content needs to be compensated with the addition of natural elements such as compost, mulch or organic fertilizer
Pedology – The study or science of soils
pH – Expresses the acidity in the soil. A soil is considered neutral at 7.0 and shows deficiencies as of a pH of 6. A low pH is usually corrected by adding calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) which are found for instance in dolomite
Phosphorus – Symbol P – Detrimental to the environment if used in large quantities, but essential as a nutrient for the plant. Phosphorus is necessary at the time of fruit setting, reinforces the rooting system and the plant resistance.
Potassium – Symbol K – Potassium is necessary as of the flowering, but particularly upon the maturation of the fruits or vegetables
Rhizosphere – The area of soil in immediate proximity to roots or root hairs of plants
Substrate – Material used by microorganisms for food
Sustainable development – A concept founded in the mid eighties which brings together economic, social and environment patterns. Sustainable development aims at meeting the needs of the present without jeopardizing the needs of the future. A bearable environment, an equitable society and a viable economy are the fundamentals of sustainable development.