What determines soil fertility, its increase? Can we, gardeners, answer this question? It is no secret that the soil is depleted, its properties are deteriorating. The application of mineral fertilizers, as practice has shown, does not solve the problem of fertility. Nutrients are not balanced, some of them absorb weeds. How to make the soil fertile in your area?
Soil is an incredibly complex substance. It has physical, chemical properties that allow it to support not only the life of a variety of plants, but the life of hundreds of thousands of different insects, worm-like creatures, microorganisms. She breathes, she interacts with the environment, she can even purify herself, grow over time.
Natural soil fertility
More than a hundred years ago, a great scientist, professor at Petersburg University V.V.Dokuchaev declared to mankind that the soil is the special living body of Nature - “the skin of the planet”.It is home to a huge number of living organisms. The soil lives, breathes. ..Life is born there all the time. And life is isolation and nutrition, breathing and dying, synthesis and decomposition. ..
Soil scientists have found that one gram of meadow soil contains up to 15 million hard workers - the smallest invertebrates - springtails, ticks, other organisms. She not only gives life to plants. This is home to a huge number of living beings - 50-60% of them are accounted for by earthworms.
As early as 1886, Charles Darwin first pointed out the role of worms in improving soil fertility. Earthworms are constantly moving. They migrate deeper than other soil living organisms, penetrating up to 1.5-2 meters. Earthworms move within the soil, penetrating it with a network of moves with a diameter of 3 to 7 mm, increasing its fertility, contributing to better aeration, penetration of moisture and roots.
The worms themselves feed on decaying organic substances, they pass through their intestines a huge soil mass, releasing it in the form of caprolites - several hundred tons per hectare. Kaprolity - the most favorable environment for the reproduction of soil microbes.
Life expectancy for earthworms is 3-5 years, but some species live up to 10 years. They have a regenerative ability - circumcised, they complete their body.
The number of them per 1 square.m ranges from several copies to tens and hundreds. They accelerate the decomposition of organic matter inside the soil, significantly increase its fertility.
Life in nature is always represented by communities of organisms - plants, animals, microorganisms, that is, it exists in the form of biocenoses. Nowhere on the planet there is monocultural uniformity, everywhere everywhere are communities. Monoculture is rejected by Nature. But the man is actively implementing it in the fields and gardens.
Meanwhile, clean crops not only disrupt the soil structure, but reduce the number of living organisms.
Rotations with the inclusion of perennial legumes or cereals lead to the enrichment of soil with root residues, activate microbiological activity, promote the accumulation of nitrogen and other nutrients, increase fertility.
A man constantly torments the ground: he plows the virgin soil, sows the grain - for several years he will weaken it, then he will bring cattle - he will all be trampled, then he sprinkles the crops with chemicals. She lacks neither the strength nor the time to restore her original condition.
Vegetable growers, amateur gardeners need to constantly increase fertility in their plots by applying organic fertilizers, biohumus, mulching, keep the crops alternating, fight pests, diseases mainly with biological methods, follow the proper agricultural practices.
The main elements of the characteristics of any type of soil are:
- soil structure,
- soil texture,
- soil fertility,
- soil acidity( pH).
The physical character is determined by the balance of clay, silt, sand, organic particles, the content of humus in the soil.
The fertile land includes many plant nutrients, including the main ones - nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, minerals( zinc, manganese, boron, iron, sulfur, cobalt, copper, magnesium, molybdenum, chlorine) and organic matter. In addition, the fertile soil has an acidity of pH from 5.5 to 6.2, good water and air permeability.
Chernozem soils of the Krasnodar Territory have high potential fertility. However, this may not always be used to obtain high yields due to the low availability of nutrients in the lower layers of the soil, lack of moisture and, often, great weed infestation.
I decided this: in order to make the soil fertile, it is necessary to increase the use of the mulch layer of legumes. All small patches of land should be set aside for peas, vegetable beans, and part of flower beds made of tires for car wheels, to be given to perennial lupine. I think my land has become more fertile.
Scientists, for example, N.M.Zhirmunskaya, it is advised to use a mulching layer of 8 centimeters to suppress weeds, and a layer of 15 centimeters to destroy them. It is characteristic that in such a layer, earthworms intensively reproduce, contributing to the restoration of the fertility of the earth. Chopped leguminous plants are embedded in the ground, which improves the soil structure, increases the nitrogen content in the soil.
Doctor of Agricultural Sciences V. Zubchenko emphasizes that the mass of leguminous plants plowed into the soil enriches the arable layer with organic matter, nitrogen. This mass of fertilizing effect is equivalent to the introduction of fresh manure. That's why I grow legumes all over the site.
My experience in improving soil fertility
Next to gooseberry bushes, currants planted peas( 3-4 holes near each bush), put slats for tying. When the time came for harvesting, I collected as many legumes as I had previously received from three medium beds.
The fact is that leguminous crops perfectly assimilate atmospheric nitrogen, and bacteria translate it into a state accessible to plants. I consider focal cultivation of legumes to increase fertility as a promising business, I was personally convinced. Even visually noticeable as the yield increases.
Gooseberry now gives berries the size of an average plum, and blackcurrant, even black chokeberry, is the size of a cherry. I grind green parts of leguminous crops, bury them around shrubs, fruit trees to a depth of 8-10 cm.
To get more peas, vegetable beans, watering the infusion of ash: a glass of ash on a bucket of water;infusion of weed plants: 1: 3.In addition, three times I give dressing - half a glass of sifted wood ash per bush.
Perennial lupine continuously produces green mass. She cut, fed with wood ash - it grows again. I keep the green manure( stalks of peas, beans and lupine) in a wet state, because in this form the plant mass decomposes faster.
When growing legumes I take into account the light, I try to prevent the plants from shading other crops.
Scientists and gardeners-practitioners repeatedly emphasize that green manure, in addition to restoring the structure and increasing soil fertility, suppress weeds, successfully protecting the earth from water, wind erosion.
I advise you to draw up a plan for the use of green manure, calculate their need, use the land for the cultivation of legumes.
Video "Soil care, restoration of its fertility, processing and disinfection of plant waste":