What determines the fertility of the soil or how to care for the soil in the country

The soil is a living organism in which life must constantly rage. And the more bacteria, bugs, worms in it, the higher its quality, the better garden crops grow on it. Owners sometimes do not quite understand what soil is considered healthy and fertile. They contribute large quantities of chemical fertilizers, believing that they improve the quality of the land. In fact, these top dressings affect only plants, although they do not contribute to the restoration of fertility of the earth. Moreover, it happens that the fertilizers applied remain in the soil without being absorbed by the plants, because the depleted earth did not activate them, did not turn them into a form convenient for absorption. Consider what the fertility of the soil depends on and how to improve it if nothing wants to grow in the country.

In order for plants to live well in the earth, it must have moisture, oxygen and a lot of nutrients. In addition, the soil should be well warmed up and have normal acidity. Only with all this in the earth will there be life - many useful microorganisms that help plants to eat well. So that the soil in the country meets all of the above requirements, you need to work hard. So, let's begin…

Water balance: not dry and not wet

Most often, cottages come across lands on which water either stagnates or leaves, like through fingers. Both options for plants are certain death.

If you are not lucky, and there is clay or a low place on the site, then the water in the soil will be constant. The only salvation for the lowlands is to drain. For this, a three-meter strip half a meter wide and a meter deep is dug along the fence. During the summer, all construction debris and stones that were found in the garden are thrown there, and when they reach the level of the fertile layer (about 40 cm), they fill it with soil removed from the next three meters. As soon as the first trench is buried, a second one is dug out along the fence. And so - until the whole section passes. All the work will take about a season, but you will permanently get rid of excess moisture in the soil.

At the bottom of the trench, any construction debris is laid out: broken bricks, stones, the remains of blocks, and fertile soil on which vegetables will grow is poured on top

You can also dig trenches and lay pipes, but in this case they think over where to put the whole system. You may have to dig a pool so as not to drown the neighbors.

If the site is clay, then irrigation is not carried out, but only change the composition of the earth, diluting it with sand, peat and humus. Clay in itself is very useful because it holds a lot of the necessary elements. But too much of it cements the earth during a drought, preventing the roots from breathing, and during the rainy season there will be a lake in the garden. After adding, it is necessary to plow the soil several times with a walk-behind tractor, and then with a cultivator in order to break the blocks into small particles and mix the components.

In clay soil, the percentage of nutrients is very high, but because of the increased density and humidity, the roots cannot receive normal nutrition

If on the site another problem is sand, then you need to think about how to retain moisture, and not remove it. It is unlikely that it will be possible to completely change the composition of land over the season. This is a matter of time. Only timely watering will help here. There are seasons when the weather itself wets slightly. And then the harvest will be excellent! To strengthen the soil, humus, peat, clay, etc. must be added to it. The so-called "beetroot land" is very useful. If there is a beet in your city, where beets are brought for delivery from collective farms in the fall, then a lot of soil from beet fields and debris accumulates along with root crops. If you agree with the employees of this enterprise and ship a couple of land machines, your soil will be saved from dehydration. Anyway, this soil will have to be put somewhere. So why not at your cottage ?!

After beet harvesting and loading, there is a lot of soil left from the fields, and it can be used to improve soil fertility

Air mode: does the earth “breathe”?

The second component that affects the development of plants is oxygen. If it is not enough, if the soil is clogged, then the roots will not be able to receive normal nutrition.

First, check if your beds are “breathing”. To do this, simply pour a bucket of water on the soil and watch how it will be absorbed. If air bubbles immediately began to appear, then everything is in order with your land. If the water leaves without bubbles, then the pores of the earth are clogged, and they must be opened.

Make it easy. In the fall, when digging the soil, do not break the blocks, but leave them hanging around in waves. During the winter, the earth is deeply saturated with oxygen, and you will get rid of many pests that will freeze in these blocks.

By pulling the aerator on your feet, you can improve the flow of air in flower beds that are planted with perennials and are not subject to digging.

A useful device is an aerator (or hole punch). It was created to improve ventilation on lawns. The metal rods attached to the back pierce the topsoil and create a path for air to penetrate deeper. This device is good to improve the aeration of flower beds that do not dig for the winter.

Earth warmth: neither cold nor hot

The temperature of the land must be controlled by the owners themselves. The darker the color of the soil, the more it warms up. Not every culture loves hot land, so it is first determined what and where will grow, and then, taking into account the weather, they begin to regulate the thermal regime.

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Mulch-ridged beds become colder by 2-3 degrees colder than the others and protect the plant roots from overheating and weeds

Raises the temperature:

  • cresting;
  • mulching with peat or black earth;
  • lining black non-woven material with slots for seedlings;
  • weed weeding.

Lowers temperature:

  • watering;
  • loosening;
  • mulch from sawdust or straw;
  • white non-woven fabric.

Acidity of the soil: we achieve pH 5.5

As you use the land gradually acidifies. A rare plant is able to get along in acidic soil. Most prefer slightly acidic soil, the acidity of which is 5.5. Therefore, liming should be included in annual soil care.

First you need to determine how acidic the earth is. It is most convenient to collect a handful of soil from different places on the site and take it to a special laboratory. But if it is not, then the approximate acidity can be found using a simple operation: to spread the soil from several places on the heaps and pour vinegar on top. If your heaps began to "boil" with the release of air bubbles - the earth is normal. If no reaction follows - acidic.

If you poured vinegar on the ground, and air bubbles began to appear on it, then the soil acidity is normal

Why it is necessary to eliminate acidification:

  • Acidic soils dry in the spring for a long time, and crust in the heat.
  • Good bacteria do not live in them.
  • Acid binds phosphorus fertilizers, preventing them from being absorbed into plants.
  • Acid retains heavy metals in the soil.

To eliminate acidification, you need to buy lime, extinguish it with water (50 kg - 2 buckets of water) and shed the soil until the autumn digging. Or apply in the spring, before plowing the land.

If “slaked” is written on the packaging with lime, then it can be immediately applied to the soil, evenly sprinkling along the beds

You can sprinkle lime in the form of a powder, but before that, let it lie down for about a week in the open air so that it is extinguished due to air moisture. To do this, just cut the film bag and leave it open on the street.

The approximate dose of lime is 500 g for clay soil, 300 g for sand. If the exact degree of acidification is not defined, it is better to apply lime in small doses and observe the weeds. As soon as plantain and horsetail disappeared from the beds, acidity became neutral.

Life on earth: are bacteria alive?

If all of the above procedures are carried out, beneficial bacteria will appear in your soil themselves, because you have created all the conditions for their free life. And still check how active they are. To do this, bury filter paper at several points on the site, and after a month and a half, dig out and look at its condition.

  • If it is almost decayed - life in the earth is seething!
  • If it “melted” only partially, it means that the activity is average, and organic fertilizers must be added.
  • If the leaf remains almost intact - it is time to apply nitrogen and organic fertilizers, as well as give the soil a rest. Perhaps you have planted the same crop for a couple of seasons, thereby creating the basis for the propagation of harmful microbes. They destroyed the useful biomaterial.

Every year it is necessary to change the composition of vegetables in the beds so that the soil does not tire of the products of isolation of one crop.

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