The harvests make you less and less happy every year, although you do everything the same way as before? Do trees grow very slowly and flowers get sick all the time? A possible cause of all your troubles is soil exhaustion.
The soil can be helped in many ways. We will tell you about the most effective ones, with the help of which you can return your land to its former fertility.
What is soil exhaustion (tired soil)
Soil exhaustion is expressed in a deterioration in the productivity of cultivated plants due to a decrease in soil fertility. The soil can no longer provide plants with as much nutrients, moisture and air as they need for normal growth and fruiting.
Signs that the soil is tired are:
- a sharp decrease in the yield of fruit and berry and vegetable crops;
- deterioration in the quality of the crop;
- reducing the duration of storage of fruits;
- the development of fungal and infectious diseases in plants.
Why does the soil get tired?
Soil exhaustion primarily occurs when plants are grown for a long time in the same place. This can lead to negative consequences:
- Each type of plant needs certain macro and microelements. It is these substances that they absorb from the soil during growth and development. As a result, over time, a lack of minerals that are especially important for a particular type of minerals begins to be acutely felt. If you continue to grow this crop further in this place, you will not get the previous harvest.
- Many plants release toxic substances into the soil, which inhibit the growth of crops growing in the vicinity. The most “harmful” among garden crops are beets, spinach, parsley, and peas, which “poison” not only neighbors but also themselves.
- Plants from the same family suffer from the same diseases. During cultivation, pathogens of fungal and infectious diseases accumulate in the soil. When plants-relatives appear in this place, “suitable” pathogenic bacteria and fungi are already waiting for them. The likelihood that they will not infect these plants is negligible.
There are several other reasons that exhaustion occurs near the soil:
- liming of acidic soils is not carried out. Acidic soils prevent the roots of the plant from assimilating nutrients – it is starving, which means it grows poorly;
- fertilizers are added to the soil, which lowers the pH level, i.e. make the soil even more acidic;
- due to improper fertilization, the mineral balance is disturbed;
- excessive enthusiasm for anyone substance disrupts the assimilation of certain elements by plants. So, an excess of potassium leads to a violation of the structure of the soil – it becomes less permeable. Because of this, calcium and magnesium are very poorly supplied to the roots of plants. If you overdo it with phosphorus, then green pets will receive less zinc with copper and cobalt.
What to do if the soil is tired
Can the soil be helped to overcome exhaustion? Yes, if you try, it is possible. We offer you several options on how to cope with this problem.
Method 1 – compliance with crop rotation
To implement the correct crop rotation, you need to pay attention to 2 points:
- Predecessors – should be planted only after those crops that will have a positive effect and do not infect the new inhabitant with their diseases.
- Return time – you need to give the soil to restore all the nutrients that it spent on growth and development, and get rid of toxic substances secreted by the roots.
The decomposition time of toxic substances is different for each culture. Depending on it, garden crops can be returned to their original place not earlier than through:
- 2-3 years – radishes, radishes and beans;
- 3-5 years old – onions, peas;
- 4-5 years old – carrots, beets, parsley, tomatoes, peppers and cabbage;
- 6-7 years old – cabbage if it was sick with keel.
You can try the following crop rotation model:
- In the spring, after the autumn fertilization, it is necessary to plant the crops that are most demanding on soil fertility: tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, onions.
- After them, the next year – legumes: peas, beans, soybeans or beans. These plants have the ability to saturate the soil with nitrogen and improve its structure.
- In the third year, only those plants that are undemanding to the soil will grow well in this place. These are radishes and radishes, as well as herbs such as parsley and parsnips.
As for the predecessors, pay attention to the general rules of alternation:
- For all crops, early and cauliflower and vegetables of the pumpkin family are good predecessors: cucumbers, zucchini, pumpkin, squash, etc.
- All garden plants will feel good after legumes and green crops, as well as after onions with garlic.
- After early potatoes, you can plant everything except its fellows in the family: tomatoes, eggplants and peppers, as well as cabbage.
- Medium and late cabbage and plants from the Solanaceae family will not be the best predecessors for most crops.
Method 2 – sowing green manure
Sowing green manure is another good way to reanimate the soil. Any plants that quickly grow green mass are suitable: rapeseed, vetch, lupine, oil radish, and mustard. They are sown in an empty area, and after 1.5-2 months they are mowed. Buried in the ground, these herbs help her in every way:
- normalize acidity levels;
- destroy pests of cultivated plants and pathogens of fungal and other diseases;
- saturate the earth, like other organic fertilizers, with micro and macro elements;
- serve as food and shelter for beneficial bacteria and worms, which make the soil healthier, stimulate root formation, and increase the absorption of nutrients.
3 kg of green manure reserves of nutrients is equal to 1.5 kg of manure. However, their availability for summer residents is much higher, and the price is lower.
Method 3 – fertilization
In the fall, apply any organic fertilizer to the tired soil. It can be compost, humus, and manure – at least 1-3 kg per 1 sq. M. They can be replaced with complete mineral fertilizer. The purpose of these actions is to saturate the “hungry” soil as much as possible, to allow it to prepare for the spring planting of plants.
Constant deep digging of the soil 2-3 times a year does not benefit it, but great harm. By changing the soil layers in places, we also affect its inhabitants. Microorganisms that lived below, without access to oxygen, end up on top and die. And vice versa, the entire living soil world from the upper layer falls down and also perishes because it cannot live without oxygen. It takes time for the soil to restore the microflora.
Method 4 – improving the soil
To improve the beneficial properties of the soil, you need to know its composition and acidity level. This knowledge will help you correct her shortcomings.
If there is an increased level of acidity in your area, it is necessary to reduce it, so to speak, to “deoxidize” the soil. The most famous methods are the introduction of dolomite flour, wood ash, or lime.
To make heavy clay soil looser, water- and air-permeable, sand or peat should be added to it – at least 1 kg per 1 sq. M. The introduction of organic fertilizers will also help. Another way to improve clay-rich soil is by liming it.
On sandy soil, you will never get a good harvest. To increase its fertility, add a large amount of organic matter or sow green manures. If you see earthworms, you can assume that you have coped with the task. These creatures testify to an increase in soil fertility.
What do you do when you get tired? Are you sleeping? Are you resting? Eat? The soil also needs rest. And if you can’t give her a break, then at least feed her.