The best organic farming always is when you know how to use nature as it is.

As our knowledge of the harmful effects of agricultural chemicals grows, more and more farmers and consumers are rediscovering their organic history, returning to the methods of old, such as plucking insect pests and weeds by hand and hoe, and amending soil with natural fertilizers—compost. The joy in growing your own food is the joy in savoring its delicious flavor and in providing good food for others to enjoy. Discover how to rebuild your garden with an organic foundation and produce the vegetables, fruits and herbs that will nourish your family and the families of those who purchase your produce.
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Make your own soil conditioner

Soil conditioners repair damaged soil and help maintain the soil quality for plant life. Over time soil will become compacted soil. Conditioners help to loosen the soil as well as replenish and maintain nutrients in order for the plants to flourish. For the best result it is important to mix the soil and the soil conditioner before planting. Though some soil conditioners do work better when placed on top of the soil after planting the crop. Soil conditioners may consist of organic matters. These would be the plant and animal remains that are in various stages of decomposition, typically referred to as compost.

A wide variety of materials have been described as soil conditioners due to their ability to improve soil quality. Some examples include biochar, bone meal, blood meal, coffee grounds, compost, compost tea, coir, manure, straw, peat, sphagnum moss, vermiculite, sulfur, lime, hydroabsorbant polymers and biosolids. Many soil conditioners come in the form of certified organic products, for people concerned with maintaining organic crops or organic gardens. Soil conditioners of almost every description are readily available from online stores or local nurseries as well as garden supply stores.

 Soil conditioning

In classifying a soil amendment we basically evaluate the product based on its impact. Does the product provide nutrients? If so then it is a fertilizer. Does the product deliver biology to the soil? If so then it is an inoculant. If the product does not provide any of nutrients or biology but is deemed as beneficial for plant life then by default it is a soil conditioner. It should be noted that many soil amendments take on aspects of a fertilizer, inoculant and or a conditioner but their objective should be clearly defined.

How to make your own soil conditioner using humus?

Mix together one part active humus and one part stable humus with one part well-rotted manure (for extra nutrients) and one part shredded leaves or leaf mould (for aeration). For new beds, add a thick, 10-centi­metre layer to the soil surface, and dig the conditioner in to a depth of 25 centi­metres. For established plantings, rough up the soil surface with a cultivator or stiff rake to a depth of three centimetres, and spread an eight-centimetre layer of conditioner on top. You can add soil conditioner at any time.

 Humus soil conditioning

How to make Lactobacilli Solution as a Soil Conditioner and Foliar Spray?

How to Make It: Mix the rice wash and kitchen refuse, then fill 1/4 of a plastic container with the mixture and let it stand for a week. After that, dispose the thin-film like substance that developed on top of the fermented mixture. Set aside half of the mixture then add ten parts of evaporated milk and one part molasses or brown sugar with the other half. Cover the container with cloth and let it stand for a week in a cool and well-ventilated place. The fermentation will be complete after a week. The lactobacilli in the milk have killed the harmful microorganisms in the mixture.

How to Use: Mix 45ml or about 3 tbsps. of the concoction with 16 liters of water then spray it to the soil regularly. When it is applied as foliar spray, sprinkle the plants with water afterwards.

Vermicompost as soil additive, conditioner, and fertilizer

Vermiculture, which some advocates have dubbed “the organic garbage disposal,” recycles food waste into a rich, dark, good-for-your-garden soil conditioner. Vermicompost functions to add humus and organic matter to the soil providing bioavailable nutrients to the plants, increasing soil tilth. Vermicompost helps with water infiltration and retention, while buffering excessive acid or alkaline soil conditions. Vermicompost helps store nutrients and keeps them safe from leeching and irrigation, functioning to balance hormones within plant physiology, and adding beneficial biology to your soil.

Vermicompost Applications: For potting & garden soil amendment apply 1:10 ratio vermicompost to soil.

 Vermicompost soil conditioning

Soil conditioners may be applied in a number of ways. Some are worked into the soil with a tiller before planting. Others are applied after planting, or periodically during the growing season. Soil testing should be performed prior to applying a soil conditioner to learn more about the composition and structure of the soil. This testing will determine which conditioners will be more appropriate for the conditions. While adding a soil conditioner to crops or a garden can seem like a great way to get healthier plants, over-application of some amendments can cause ecological problems.

For instance, salts, nitrogen, metals and other nutrients that are present in many soil amendments are not productive when added in excess, and can actually be detrimental to plant health. Runoff of excess nutrients into waterways can also occur, which is harmful for the environment. What makes organic growing different is that it uses only naturally-occurring materials for all phases of the growing operation including improving the soil, fertilizing, and preventing and solving pest problems. Each of the product is uniquely different and will provide everything you will need to make your soil the healthiest ever.

 Handbook of Soil Conditioners

Pacu Jaya

Pacu Jaya

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