Let's get down to the nitty gritty

product data sheet

Azotobacter is an aerobic, free-living soil microbe that fixes nitrogen from the atmosphere.

Bacteria - there are thousands of different species of bacteria. The beneficial bacteria in soils feed on dead leaves and animal residues. The complex process breaks down the organic matter into plant nutrients that make up humus.

Beneficial bacteria are single-celled micro-organisms that help fix nitrogen in the soil and are responsible for decomposing organic materials, which returns important nutrients back to the soil. The beneficial aspects of microorganisms far outweigh their harmful effects.

Clay soil is tightly bonded making it difficult for oxygen and water to penetrate the ground. Although clay is nutrient-rich, plants find it difficult to grow deep roots in the compacted soil. By improving tilth, VFS helps unlock the nutrients, which plants can then use.

Defra is the Government Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the UK.

Ecosystem is a system formed by the interaction of an ecological community of living organisms with their physical environment. Using chemicals has an impact on the correct functioning of the soil ecosystem.

Enzyme - an enzyme is a substance that speeds up chemical reactions. Just as the digestive glands in the human body produce enzymes to digest molecules of food, bacteria produce enzymes to absorb organic matter.

Fertilizer - a material added to soil to increase its fertility and enhance plant growth. There are natural fertilizers, such as manure, and synthetic fertilizers manufactured from chemical compounds, for example, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK).

Genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism in which genes have been added, rearranged or replaced through genetic engineering, and do not occur naturally by reproduction or combination.

Humus is the dark material in soils produced by the decomposition of organic matter.

Leaching - the loss of water-soluble plant nutrients from the soil due to rain and irrigation.

Micro-organism is a microscopic organism too small to be seen by the naked eye.

Microbe is another word for micro-organism (also spelled microorganism). Like us, microbes need to eat and so they produce enzymes to break down organic matter as food. This process releases the nutrients that plants need to feed.

Nematodes - a type of roundworm.

Nitrogen in its many forms can be organic (natural) or inorganic (chemical).

Nitrogen-fixing and nitrifying soil micro-organisms are 'keystone' organisms that are vital to the soil ecosystem.

Non toxic - non poisonous. Toxicity is the degree to which a substance is able to damage an exposed organism.

Non pathogenic means that the bacteria present will not cause disease.

Nutrients - essential elements or compounds that provide nourishment for an organism to live.

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) are areas covered by The Nitrates Directive, adopted by the European Union in 1991, which aims to reduce water pollution caused by nitrogen from agricultural sources. From 1 January 2009, the areas covered by Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) were increased to approximately 70% of England.

Organic matter is anything that has mass and volume that has come from a once-living organism, such as a fertilizer derived from animal or vegetable matter.

Polypeptides - a long chain (known as a polymer) of amino acids - the building blocks of proteins.

Polysaccharides are complex carbohydrates that contain chains of molecules, such as starch and sugar.

Probiotics (meaning 'for life') are beneficial bacteria which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.

Run-off is water or rain carrying nitrates that drains into the water system and ultimately reaches rivers, lakes or oceans. This causes algae 'blooms' and the water is starved of oxygen, affecting fish and other wildlife.

Soil is a biodiverse environment that contains numerous varieties of biological components including flora and fauna (bio life).

Organically Approved Fertiliser (also known as a soil amendment) is a substance added to soil to improve its structure, texture, tilth and drainage to improve plant growth and health.

Soil quality is the ability of the soil to provide an ecosystem that can support plants.

Top soil is a living thing made up of organic matter containing millions of micro-organisms including beneficial bacteria that decompose organic matter (dead plants and animals) into rich humus.

Vitamins are organic compounds required as a nutrient in tiny amounts by an organism.