Table of contents:
- Techniques to reduce the cost of manual labor and the number of crop treatments
- Yes - covering material
- Fighting bare soil
- The right approach to weed control
Video: How To Facilitate Labor In The Country: Thinning Plantings, Using A Covering Material, Mulching The Soil
Techniques to reduce the cost of manual labor and the number of crop treatments
No - thickened landings
The desire to plant plants too densely turns in most cases against yourself. Then you yourself will have to thin out them, and if you do not have time to do this in the shortest possible time, then the plants will begin to ache, wither, stretch out. As a result, they will not give not only normal, but more often no harvest at all. Therefore, consider a seeding system so as not to create unnecessary work for yourself.
Try sowing with pelleted seeds or seeds glued to ribbons, master the technology of sowing seeds in paste. And the sowing will be faster, and you won't have to bother with thinning. And even if you have to, there will still be less work.
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Yes - covering material
Covering material can greatly simplify matters. If you make it a rule to cover the beds with it immediately after sowing, you can save a lot of time in the future on watering and loosening. Plus, the plants will grow much faster.
In the spring, the covering material makes it possible to start sowing or planting plants much earlier; provides reliable protection against adverse weather conditions, night frosts, etc.; protects plants from insect pests, birds; ensures the growth of plants in conditions of "physiological drought" (from 0 ° C to + 8 ° C), when in the open field the plants cannot absorb moisture and do not develop.
As a result, by prudently closing the ridges, you will save a lot of time. Watering will have to be much less frequent, and it will not be required to loosen it at all until the covering material is removed. However, having covered the ridges with covering material in the spring, you should not think that everything will remain on them until autumn. Plants will gradually grow, and at some period under cover they will simply become cramped - this moment cannot be missed, otherwise the process of active development will slow down. In addition, vegetables under the covering material with a large vegetative mass and abundant precipitation are poorly ventilated. For example, here, in the Urals, summer lingering rains are a common occurrence, and plants can be affected by diseases or simply rot. Therefore, it is more advisable for us to keep the ridges closed in spring and early summer, when there is little vegetative mass,precipitation is also insufficient and the winds are strong - in such conditions, the covering material helps. But then it is better to remove it in order to improve ventilation.
Fighting bare soil
There should be no bare soil on the site. Any piece of free soil space is immediately overgrown with weeds, which have to be weeded continuously. Therefore, the soil must be covered. There are several options, and which one to choose where depends on the specific situation.
The vegetable beds, the space under the bushes of currants, gooseberries, raspberries and strawberries are best mulched. Mulch will allow you to abandon loosening, reduce the number of waterings and reduce the activity of weed growth.
Positive sides of mulching:
1. Mulch protects the soil from the effects of wind, rain and hot sun that destroy the soil structure. At the same time, uncovered soil gradually loses its fertility under the influence of wind, rain and hot sun.
2. Mulch stimulates the reproduction of earthworms and beneficial soil microflora. At the end of the season, when mulch is embedded in the soil, worms and soil microorganisms will process it, increasing the content of humus and other nutrients, accumulating a fertile layer in the soil.
3. Mulching allows you to almost abandon weeding, because mulch prevents weeds from germinating. Its thick layer (over 5 cm) largely suppresses the growth of weeds in the aisles, under bushes and in raspberries: annual weeds will not be able to break through such a layer of mulch, and rhizome perennial grasses can come to the surface, but the fight against them will already be more plain. In addition, all mulching substances prevent new seeds from entering the soil.
4. During the dry period, mulched soil requires much less watering because mulch keeps the soil moist.
5. Even being laid with a thin layer of loosening materials (peat, humus, compost, manure, fallen leaves, straw, grass cuttings, etc.), mulch avoids the formation of a soil crust formed after watering and the need for frequent loosening.
6. During rain, mulch protects plants from soil contamination and reduces splashing, which positively affects the development of fruits and berries, for example, strawberries.
7. Mulch evens out soil temperature by keeping it slightly colder in hot summers and warmer in winter.
8. Some types of mulch have decorative value, they are used to cover bare ground and give plantings a natural look, since there is no bare soil in nature, it quickly overgrows if it is not covered with anything.
As a result, when using mulch, you immediately get a noticeable benefit: you will need to weed, feed, loosen, water and fight pests and diseases much less. Agree that this is a very significant plus.
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The paths between the ridges should be laid out with pebbles, stones, tiles, etc. - this will help block the growth of weeds on the paths where they grow no less than on the beds, and in the same way they give seeds. The more paths in your garden, the better (but not at the expense of plantings, of course). At the same time, they should certainly be laid out with any solid materials, which I mentioned above. It will be elegant and, most importantly, very practical.
As a result:
- paths will cease to be an eternal breeding ground for all kinds of weeds, and you will have to weed less;
- the invariable spring mud, which greatly complicates any work, will be prevented;
- you can remove garbage from all tracks in a matter of minutes.
The material for the tracks is used very different. Natural stone is very beautiful, painted in soothing colors, with a varied surface structure, which makes it possible to use it both on wide grounds and on narrow paths. The paths from the wooden ends of a thick tree sawn in circles look original. Concrete is more practical than beautiful, but it is convenient to walk along such a path in any weather and easily sweep dirt, dust or snow from it. Ordinary pebbles or gravel are also suitable, only the size of the pebbles should not exceed 16 mm, otherwise it will be inconvenient to walk along such a path. It is very easy to pave the path with ordinary sidewalk tiles.
It is most convenient to turn the space under the trees into a lawn, sowing it with lawn grass, white clover or even decorative strawberries (they are only 10 cm high). In the latter case, you do not even have to mow the grass, and such a flower lawn will always have a neat look, embellished with delicate pink strawberry flowers. And German gardeners believe that nasturtium (2-3 plants per 1 sq. M) is the best plant for tree-trunk circles of fruit trees and berry bushes. It is both beautiful and difficult for weeds to grow.
From the point of view of specialists, sodding has a lot of positive aspects:
- The moisture in the soil is better retained. As a result, you will have to do less deep watering of trees.
- At the same time, a loose soil structure is preserved without mulching. Consequently, you will practically not need to loosen and mulch it.
- You will get the best quality and good keeping quality of the fruit as a result of better absorption of nutrients by plants. The fruits will become more tasty and will not start to rot earlier than their due date.
- Less need for potash fertilizers. And, for example, for the conditions of our Urals with its poor soils, practically not containing potassium, this is extremely important. Every gardener can remember how much potassium sulfate or ash he has to apply under a large fruit-bearing tree.
The right approach to weed control
Change the way you think about weeds and things become much easier. Be guided by the principle that weeds can only be in the beds, and do not interfere with the growth of the grass in the event that it does not pretend to be your beds. Consider conventionally everything outside the garden as a lawn and mow it regularly.
But the grass in the beds is really weeds, and you need to fight them, and in a timely manner. By nipping the enemy in the bud, you will be weeding three times less than with the traditional approach.
1. Weeds that are in the "strings" stage are destroyed by 70-80% with conventional loosening. their roots are still weak, and even if, after loosening, the plants are immediately on the soil or are simply torn off, most likely they will die. For reliability, after a week, it is worth again loosen the soil, and there will be no weeds in this area. This option of weeding by conventional loosening is suitable for weeding cabbage, potatoes and a number of other large crops. Note that you do not have to weed directly for a long and tedious time - you just quickly walk through the beds with the ripper.
2. If you did not keep track and the weeds have grown, try to weed them out by the roots, grabbing as low as possible. Otherwise, weeding will have to be repeated after a week.
3. Getting rid of weeds is very important before the time for fruiting and their new seeds get into the soil.
4. Learn to weed with both hands, pluck out weeds with your index and thumb, using your hands alternately, not simultaneously.
5. Powerful weeds can be successfully and quickly pulled out by the roots without bending down using a conventional flat cutter. It is better, of course, not to allow such weeds, because it is easier and more effective to deal with them when they are in the "thread" stage. But if this happens, stick the tapered end of the plane cutter blade under the weed and pull it out. The design of the flat cutter allows this operation to be carried out so skillfully that you can pull out weeds growing in the immediate vicinity of cultivated plants. Please note that in this case you do not have to bend over and pick up the pulled out weeds: they will dry out and rot in the garden, and become food for earthworms.
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