Table of contents:
- Techniques to reduce the cost of manual labor and the number of crop treatments
- A new look at old problems
- Two words about mulching
- Loosening the soil instead of digging
- A picky selection of varieties and hybrids
Video: How To Make Work Easier In The Country: Loosening The Soil Instead Of Digging
2023 Author: Sebastian Paterson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 20:34
Techniques to reduce the cost of manual labor and the number of crop treatments
Do not feed many of us (I mean avid gardeners and truck farmers) bread - just let us tinker on your favorite plot. And it's hard to believe when, again, many of us begin to complain about our own bitter fate, which condemns us to eternal picking in the ground. I myself have not believed in such words for a long time, because many people really just like it. Well, thank God.
But on the other hand, the most hardworking dig, loosen, float and water almost without stopping, completely confident in the full expediency of all these activities. At the same time, large harvests do not always accompany such exhausting work.
Yes, and you yourself probably have repeatedly witnessed that, it would seem, did not leave the garden and put so much work into it that you cannot rest even during the crawls, and the result is quite mediocre.
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There is another side to the issue. Years pass, and it is no longer possible to do this or that work so quickly: there is less strength and health, alas, does not increase with age. A garden-garden requires constant supervision and care. Besides, there is other work. Many of you and I still have to earn a living five days a week, and break out into the garden for just a couple of days. Where can you manage to do everything in a given period of time? So they give up … But you really want to have a harvest, and everything is beautiful around, and you want to relax and look at all this beauty too. But where to get all this time?
But not everything is so sad - if you wish, you can find time, only it is possible with a different approach to gardening work and with a different look at this work as a whole.
A new look at old problems
In fact, all your work in the garden-vegetable garden is what you have to do if you have not arranged it so that it does itself. And it turns out that if you do not want to think well and organize everything "according to your mind" - run around the site without stopping, but then don't complain. And if you can force many processes to occur without your participation, or simply get rid of them, then free time will appear.
For example: a significant part of gardening work is the fight against the consequences of digging (and we are even recommended to dig twice a season - in spring and autumn) and constant exposure of the soil. At the same time, you spend an insane amount of time digging and completely pointlessly strain your back, and the plants do not grow better from this. Or let's take watering: what you poured onto the beds, in the overwhelming majority of cases, is enough for a day, but little sense. Or take the thoughtless disposal of many of the most valuable organic waste. It is enough to compost them correctly and you will receive valuable fertilizer for free.
And as most gardeners do - they just burn it or, without hesitation, throw it over the fence. And then you will have to spend additional and considerable money on fertilizers. If you brought all the available organic matter directly into the beds and planted vegetables on them, for example, immediately, you would save money and your efforts to collect organic matter and burn it, and also improve the soil and at the same time get some kind of harvest.
Two words about mulching
In addition, there are many ways to make difficult gardening work easier. Take conventional mulching, for example. If you mulched with leaves, for example, the soil under tomatoes, this automatically means that:
- you do not have to loosen the soil after each watering or rain;
- you will save yourself from countless weeding, tk. on such beds, weeds grow much less or do not grow at all (this depends on the thickness of the mulching layer);
- moisture in such a bed is retained better, i.e. you will have to water at least 2-3 times less often;
- once the garden is watered less often, then on our Ural sandy soils, nutrients are washed out at a slower rate, and from this it follows that for the normal development of plants, less fertilizers will be required; and the soil is not compacted from constant grueling watering - therefore, you will not have to dig a bed in the fall, it will be enough to process it with just a Fokin flat cutter.
Have you not noticed a lot of advantages and huge savings in labor and time? And this is only in relation to one tomato garden and only due to elementary mulching, but how many more plants are there in our plots with you, and how many valuable techniques are in our arsenal?
In general, if you wish, you can organize your work in the garden and vegetable garden in a completely new way. And you will also benefit from this, having collected a larger crop and invested less labor, and plants that will become much more comfortable to grow on your site, and the soil in which, as a result of correct agricultural technology, numerous microorganisms will effectively work for your benefit. In general, you can have a beautiful and well-groomed garden-garden without indulging in non-stop digging, loosening and watering. Of course, you cannot easily get a fish out of the pond, and, nevertheless, if you have certain knowledge, then this very gardening work will actually be reduced by 30-50%.
True, I want to make a reservation right away that facilitated maintenance of a garden-vegetable garden does not at all imply a simple reduction in the time for usual operations. Try not to prune raspberries for one year or water your vegetables "every other time", and your plot will lose all appearance, and you will have to forget about the harvest. Facilitated garden maintenance is a completely different approach to gardening and horticulture, including the rational organization of the territory, the selection of suitable plants, non-laborious agrotechnical methods, the replacement of some agrotechnical methods with others, etc., etc.
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Loosening the soil instead of digging
If you read many agronomic manuals, then you can often find there the statement that digging, and twice a year - in spring and autumn - is a necessary requirement of agricultural technology. In fact, many studies in recent decades have proven the opposite - digging only harms the soil, and it takes a lot of time and effort from gardeners. For my part, I can fully attest that this is really so. I haven’t dug up my garden for seven years, and everything has only gotten better.
There are three main reasons why it is undesirable to dig the soil:
1. Worms make many channels in the soil, channels are formed and as a result of rotting plant roots. Through these channels, air and moisture enter the soil. When digging, the canals are destroyed, and after the first good rain or watering, the soil settles, turns into an airtight mass - as a result, air does not flow to the roots, plants develop much worse, and organic matter does not decompose.
2. In the upper soil layer, at a depth of about 10 cm, there are bacteria that need oxygen (aerobes). Bacteria live below, for which oxygen is destructive (anaerobes). Each of these bacteria does its job of increasing soil fertility on its floors. As a result of digging, both bacteria are destroyed, and the soil becomes sterile.
3. When we dig up the ground, we ourselves bury weed seeds at different depths. At the same time, we raise to the surface the seeds that were buried earlier (the offspring of each weed bush germinates gradually over 10-15 years and longer). By digging to kill weeds, you create a permanent supply of seeds in the soil. A vicious circle is formed - we become victims of our system of tillage.
As a result, there is no digging of channels for the intake of moisture and air, there are no working bacteria, the plants are much worse, and you are mortally tired of endless weeding. Therefore, the soil can be cultivated to a depth of 5 cm, and the deeper layers should not be touched.
To carry out such processing, you will have to replace the usual shovel with a Fokin flat cutter, but not dig the soil in the beds, but loosen it. And it is enough to do this only once a season - to prepare some beds in the fall, and leave some in the spring. By following this path, you will be able to prepare the beds three times faster, and the plants on such beds will develop much better than on the dug ones. You can save a lot of time and effort.
There is one exception: it will not be possible to abandon digging when reclaiming virgin lands, since the soil will still have to be dug with a shovel to get rid of stones, plant roots, etc. And after that it is better to forget about digging safely. True, this can be done only if you follow a number of simple rules:
1. Plant the plants so that when caring for them you do not have to step on the ground near the stems, thus avoiding the slightest compaction of the soil. Therefore, it makes sense to lay temporary, and preferably permanent, paths between the beds.
2. The soil surface must be mulched with organic materials.
3. In late autumn, after harvesting, in order to ensure good air exchange, deep loosening of the soil is necessary. The ideal tool for this purpose is the Fokin plane cutter, but, in principle, ordinary forks are also suitable, it is just that it is much easier and faster to work with a plane cutter. In this case, the goal is not to turn over and not to raise the soil up, but only to loosen it throughout its depth.
4. In late autumn, after deep loosening of the ridges for root crops, they need to be covered with a thin, 3-5 cm layer of compost.
5. In the spring, immediately after the snow melts, surface loosening of the soil with an ordinary rake will be required.
A picky selection of varieties and hybrids
Sow only promising varieties and hybrids. Choosing old varieties, you not only lose your harvest, but also significantly add to your work, because in the potential majority of cases, older varieties are much more susceptible to disease and less resistant to adverse environmental conditions. This means that the number of sprays from diseases at least doubles.
In addition, by relying on promising varieties, and especially hybrids, you will not only be able to reduce your work in the garden, but you will also reap more yields, since the potential yield of modern hybrids is much higher than many older varieties.
How to facilitate labor in the country: thinning plantings, using a covering material, mulching the soil
How to facilitate labor in the country: using APIs and hydrogels
It is better to plant beet seedlings in the hole, adding a ladle of water there, you cannot deepen the growth point, otherwise it will take root for a very long time. All Dutch hybrids, when transplanted, do not form a fork in root crops. The distance between the plants in a row is 8 cm. After the plants have 4-5 true leaves, we feed them with a nitrophoska solution - 40 g per 10 l of water; you can add 0.5 g of boric acid to this solution
It must be admitted that a considerable part of the time we spend in the summer in the garden is spent on numerous and literally maddening feeding. However, there is a way out, you just have to switch from conventional mineral fertilizers to APIONs ( fertilizers with long-term action ). This will allow you to get rid of grueling feeding, and throughout the season you will only need to water the plants
It is known that already 6000 years ago people were engaged in agriculture. Unable to plow the land deeply, they loosened the topsoil with a hoe or plow and sowed seeds. In the fall, the harvest was removed, and all the crop residues were left in the fields. For feeding, organic fertilizers and herbal infusions were used, and weeds were fought with the help of a hoe
Cucumbers, of course, are almost irreplaceable vegetables for us. They are good fresh and, and few people refuse salted or pickled crispy cucumbers. However, in this article we will not talk about cucumbers at all, but about their interesting substitute - cucumber grass
I suggest that ordinary gardeners return to their present reality and live within their means. Therefore, I advise you to forget about the paving slabs and use the now thoroughly forgotten inexpensive method of building garden paths from soil cement