Improving Soil Fertility – A Role of Organic Matter

Improving Soil Fertility.
Improving Soil Fertility.

Improving Soil Fertility Methods:

Improving Soil Fertility – Introduction: Maintenance of soil fertility is a great issue to our farmers. Cultivation of particular crop every year in the exact same field decreases the soil fertility. To increase the soil fertility, it is necessary to inspect the reduction of nutrient and to increase the nutrient content of their soil. The following things must be properly followed for increasing the fertility of their soil.

Improving Soil Fertility – Proper utilization of field: A good yield of the crop is not possible if we cultivate any crop in any land. So it is crucial to pick the crop which is suitable for a particular land. Practical experience will be useful in this regard. The harvest should be cultivated on the basis of this natural soil. In terms of an example, cultivation of paddy is best suited in low land clay soil.

Improving Soil Fertility – Great tillage: Good tillage is essential to bring the soil in suitable condition for the production of plants. Tillage creates the soil loose and friable. Weeds and stubbles of previous crops ploughed under by tillage are turned into organic matter. Because of this, the physical, chemical and biological change of soil takes place which is essential for the maintenance of soil fertility.

Improving Soil Fertility – Crop rotation: If we cultivate the particular crop year after year in exactly the same field, the particular nutrients of soil become exhausted and the fertility of the soil is decreased. Because of this, different crops should be cultivated in a year.

Weeds growing on a particular land consume the plant nutrient and also make the soil infertile. For this, to maintain and improve the soil fertility, it is vital to control the weeds in times.

Improving Soil Fertility – Maintenance of optimum moisture in soil: Optimum moisture in the soil is essential for the proper development of crops. The quantity of soil moisture in less or more quantity hampers the growth of the harvest. Excessive water in the soil causes the losses of nutrient bleaching and as a result, the fertility of the soil decreases. So it is essential to conserve the soil moisture which is helpful in the conservation of soil fertility.

Improving Soil Fertility – Control of soil erosion: A few of the nutrients especially nitrogen remains on the top layer of this soil is removed by any means, the fertility of the soil decreases. So it is essential to preserve the soil moisture which is useful in the conservation of soil fertility.

If we cultivate green manuring crops i.e. leguminous crop such as daincha — Sesbania aculeate, sunhemp — Crotalaria juncea, cowpea, and non-leguminous crops such as oats, maize (corn), jowar (Sorghum), bajra  in the field and turned under the soil by ploughing, the organic matter and nitrogen in the event of leguminous crop increases in the soil and thereby the fertility of soil increases. The leguminous crop fixes nitrogen from the air with the help of nitrifying bacteria living in root nodule of that harvest. Addition of these crops increases the organic matter and nitrogen content of the soil. As a result, the fertility of the soil is increased. Manure is organic in nature. Application of manures such as oil cakes, compost, farmyard manure (FMY) and animal origin such as cow dung, urine, bone meal increases the organic matter in the soil and thus the fertility of the soil is increased.

Improving Soil Fertility – Cultivation of cover crops: Cover crops such as cowpea, sweet potato to create a cover of the top layer of the soil which reduces the soil erosion and leaching loss of nutrients in the soil. Because of this, the fertility of the soil is preserved.

Improving Soil Fertility – Removal of excess water: Removal of excess water in the soil is very much essential. Otherwise, nutrients have been lost by the process of leaching. Besides this, aeration is also inhibiting the microbial activity and mineralization of nutrients do not take place properly. So it is essential to remove excess water from the soil to maintain soil fertility.

Improving Soil Fertility – Application of fertilizers: Manure contains fewer amounts of nutrients. So we ought to apply fertilizer to fit the requirement of a plant. Applications of fertilizer do not increase the fertility of their soil. But it is possible to fulfill the need of plant via the fertilizer application.

Improving Soil Fertility – Soil Testing: This is non-negotiable: Obtain a soil test to find out its nutrient levels. Check with your regional extension office, which probably offers testing services. Additionally, there are private companies that offering soil testing. You’ll get know the what plants require the big three–nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium–as well as the pH level of the soil and possibly the organic-matter amounts.

Improving Soil Fertility – Identifying  Soil Type: Soil consists of a mixture of sand, silt, and clay particles, along with organic matter Or, try this quick test: Rub some soil in your hands, and if it’s sandy, you are going to feel the sand particles. If it’s thick clay, then it will feel very slippery when wet because clay particles are the smallest. Generally, heavy clay soils are slower in draining properties and take longer to warm up and dry off in the spring season. Silty soil is generally found on land near water that may have flooded and abandoned the silt sediment.

Improving Soil Fertility – Soil  Adjustment: It requires a while to alter the texture of your soil, but it is possible. It is advised working 6 to 8 inches of organic matter, such as leaves, into the soil. Spread leaves on your backyard, use your lawnmower to cut up them, and then spread liquid nitrogen on top to speed up the decomposition process. Let this sit for about a month, then turn it into the soil. The earthworms will do the rest. (Ideally, you want to do this in the autumn before it gets cold.)

Improving Soil Fertility – Selecting Right Fertilizer: “Every time you harvest something out of your garden, it’s like making a withdrawal from the soil, like a withdrawal from the bank, “If you would like to get a healthy situation in the bank, you need to generate some deposits too. It’s the same thing in the garden. You need to put something back if you would like to keep the soil healthy.”

This is why a soil test is important–so it is possible to choose the fertilizer with the correct ratio of nutrients. “What you will need to do is set it down in the numbers you need rather than apply stuff that you don’t need,”. For instance, nitrogen often needs to be inserted. Find a fertilizer with the correct phosphorus and potassium ratio and add nitrogen individually.

Improving Soil Fertility – Selecting Organic or Conventional Fertilizer:

Organic will do more for the soil entire, and some forms, such as compost, also add valuable fungi that help improve the till and water-holding capacity. The downside: It’s more expensive, and you will want to use more.

Conventional fertilizers are more economical and easier to use, however, you won’t get exactly the same soil-building benefits. You can mix organic and conventional. One example: If you need to upward potassium levels, use potassium sulfate or potassium, then revert to organic.

“You need to look at things in a holistic way,”. “There are approximately 16 nutrients that plants need, and the majority of fertilizers just give you about three or four.” The best way to get the remainder is by composting. A simple method: Dig a hole in your backyard around 16 inches deep and throw in your kitchen scraps. Cover it, and let the earthworms do their thing. You can do this in several regions of your garden where the soil needs assistance, both before you plant in the spring and after the gardening season.

Improving Soil Fertility – Select Between Liquid and Granular fertilizers: Liquid fertilizer is valuable because of its secondary benefits and additional micronutrients. However, as it’s diluted with water, you will want to apply it more frequently–around every fourteen days.

With granular fertilizer, you’ll need just about two applications, but you won’t receive the additional nutrients. Before planting, supplement all of phosphorus ‘P’, potassium ‘K’, and two-thirds of the nitrogen ‘N’, and till into the soil. Place the remaining one-third of this nitrogen six to eight months after the garden is growing.

Improving Soil Fertility – Select Right Plants for your Soil:

Especially in ornamental plants,  selection of plants that thrives best your garden soil will save you time and work. This is another job for your local extension office, which ought to have a list. Native plants are always a good idea, as they’re acclimatized to your region.

If you’ve got poor-quality topsoil, heavy clay content, and a lot of rocks, some root crops, like carrots, will be tricky. You can choose varieties with shorter origins, and some of the numerous varietals that grow well in bad soil, such as these carrots and cabbage.

Improving Soil Fertility – An Organic Matter Role and Maintenance of proper acidity-alkalinity of soil:

  1. Acid and alkali soils aren’t suitable for the cultivation of all crops. It is essential to reclaiming the acidity and alkalinity of soil to maintain the fertility of the soil.
  2. Organic thing is the storehouse of food for the plant. The significant plant nutrient specifically nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium remain in organic matter and also the nutrient releases throughout the year which becomes available to crops.
  3. Organic matter helps to improve and conserve the fertility of the soil.
  4. Organic matter imparts a dark color of the soil and thereby help to maintain soil temperature. As a result, clay soil becomes rancid and aeration and motion of water improved. On the flip side, water holding capacity of sandy soil increases.
  5. The plant nutrients remain in the insoluble and complicated condition in the organic thing. Because of this, reduction of nutrient from rainwater or other organic agencies becomes minimum.
  6. Organic matter increases cation exchange capacity (CEC) of the soil. Thus it prevents the loss of nutrient by leaching and retains them in available form.
  7. Organic matter increases the water holding capacity of the soil. This is especially important in case of sandy soil.
  8. Organic matter creates the soil porous and thus help in proper aeration.
  9. Organic matter serves as a storehouse of food to the soil microorganism. They make the plant nutrient available to plants.
  10. Organic matter increases the availability of phosphorus by locking up the calcium, iron, and aluminium which are responsible for phosphate fixation.
  11. Organic matter increases the buffering capacity of the soil.
  12. Organic mulching helps to preserve the soil moisture.
  13. Organic acid released by decomposing organic matter helps to decrease alkalinity in soils.
  14. Organic matter lowers the undesirable properties of clay soil like cohesion and plasticity. It makes the clay soil friable and makes it easy for cultivation.
  15. Organic matter reduces the reduction of soil by wind erosion and reduces the surface run-off and leaves soil water more available to plants.
  16. Soil becomes inert without organic matter along with the plant can’t grow well in that soil.

You can read more about Soil Types and Suitable Crops.


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