20 Aug Caring for your soil
Soil is one of the most important assets in farming, unless you are growing your veggies using hydroponics. And as we enter into a new season, we felt it best to share a few tips on how to carefully prepare, protect and treat your soil to ensure that you get the right quality and maximize your crop yield.
1, Soil Tests
Before you even think of planting, make sure you test your soil so that you know what type of soil you are working with. There are various places where soil tests can be done, results interpreted and you will also be advised on a list of suitable crops to grow on your land.
2. Applying Manure
One of the old fashioned and most reliable ways of looking after your soil is applying natural compost known as manure. Manure is an organic substance obtained from the decomposition of plant and animal waste. The benefits of manure is that it is rich in Nitrogen and other nutrients which can facilitate the growth of plants in your farm/garden.
Adding organic material or biodegradable material onto to the surface of your soil can aid in managing soil erosion. The purpose and advantages of mulching is that it acts as a protective layer to the soil and keeps the soil moist for long periods of time after irrigation, therefore conserving the moisture of the soil and improving the health and fertility thereof. Most farmers enjoy mulching at it cuts down on weeding hours, water usage and cost.
4. Less tillage and creating permanent beds
To keep the nutrients of the soil intact, the most widely used methods of land preparation is to do less tilling of the soil on the farm. This way you do not disturb the ecosystem beneath the surface, helping to keep the important insects where they need to be. Creating fixed beds or planting lines is another way of caring for your soil, as most areas around will be used purely for walking and space to harvest. This way you use less planting space for intensive high yield production
5. Watering soil
Like most humans needs water to keep hydrated, it’s the same for the soil as well.
Keeping the soil moist will ensure successful growing of crops, and the timing of when to water the soil is critically important
In hotter days, you may just want to water your soil in the early mornings or late afternoons so that the sun does not absorb the water too quickly during the day.
Caring for your soil means caring for your crops and whilst the above are not too difficult to implement, one will need to familiarize themselves and practice these activities on a regular basis for successful farming.
We would love to hear from you and see your progress.