Video: Fertilizer System As A Basic Element Of Suburban Farming
Read the previous part: Determining the structure of crops and crop rotations
In the previous article, methods for determining soil fertility in a garden plot and drawing up cartograms of the content of nutrients in the arable layer of soil were considered, on the basis of which a technology for developing vegetable crop rotations and a fertilizer system for amateur gardening are usually developed.
It is impossible to get a good harvest of plants with high quality vegetable products without the right fertilization system. Today, this article will consider the methodology for compiling such a system, and will also determine the basic technologies for applying fertilizers and the amount of material and labor costs required for their development.
Many gardeners are eager to buy the "latest" fertilizers, expecting miraculous results from them. But miracles don't just come true. The secrets of miracles are not hidden in buying a new fashionable fertilizer with a new name or in a new package. In order for dreams and plans to come true, it is imperative to fulfill one basic rule in the use of fertilizers - a full range of organic and mineral fertilizers must be applied to the cultivated crop, containing the entire set of macro- and microelements, since plants need all nutrients at the same time, and not in the application of individual random fertilizers.
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In other words, fertilizers should be applied in such a way as to provide plants with all the necessary nutrients so that there is no shortage of at least one nutrient, otherwise the plants will starve, an excess of some cannot reduce the deficiency of others, therefore all fertilizers should be applied in a certain system in the same way as in the diet. human or animal feeding.
Fertilizers are a powerful means of increasing plant productivity, but this is not always the case. Fertilizers are most effective only if they are used correctly, which means that they need to be applied in the optimal dose, in the right ratio of nutrients, at the optimal time, sealed at a certain depth, applied according to a specific system and in a specific crop rotation.
A fertilization system is a multi-year plan for the use of organic, lime and mineral fertilizers, which indicates the optimal doses, the required application time and the appropriate embedding methods depending on the planned yield, biological characteristics of plants and crop rotation in the crop rotation, taking into account the properties of fertilizers, soil and climatic and other conditions. When determining the optimal set of fertilizers that is required for a particular crop, information is used about its biological requirements, nutritional characteristics and the peculiarities of using fertilizers for it.
There is a well-known saying: “You don't have to be a fish to be an ichthyologist,” which could have told about herself and her diet. But let's imagine the incredible: that very magic fish - the vegetable plant itself - came to us and told about its requirements for fertilizers. Let's consider these requirements.
The nutrient requirements of different crops differ. The same plant assimilates different amounts of nitrogen and ash elements during the growing season, but also requires them in certain proportions. The exactingness of different crops to nutrients is usually determined by the total duration of the growing season of a given plant and the presence of a period of their greatest consumption.
The shorter the period of intensive absorption, the more demanding the plant is for both soil and fertilizers. Different varieties of the same crop can also vary greatly in terms of dietary requirements. Early ripening varieties with a short period of nutrient absorption are more demanding on nutritional conditions than late ripening varieties with an extended period of absorption of mineral food elements.
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In plants, critical periods and periods of maximum assimilation of elements of mineral food from soil and fertilizers are noted in the diet. Plants begin to consume nutrients from the moment 2-3 true leaves appear. In the period from sowing to the appearance of true leaves, plants practically do not feed on either soil or fertilizers. At this time, the root system is just beginning to develop, it is still weak to take food from the soil and fertilizers.
Therefore, from sowing to the appearance of true leaves, plants feed on the reserves of the mother plant, that is, on the seed reserves. This period is considered critical, it is mainly associated with a lack of phosphorus, which is small in the seed, and plants cannot take it from the soil, it is in a difficult-to-reach state there. During emergence of all plants, the root system cannot assimilate phosphorus from the soil and phosphorus starvation is observed.
Therefore, it is recommended to use superphosphate for all plants as a pre-sowing fertilizer readily soluble in soil solution and readily available to plants. Granular superphosphate is required to be applied when sowing all crops, it is better to apply it with a soil layer of 1-1.5 cm between the seeds and superphosphate so that superphosphate does not reduce the germination of plants. Thus, superphosphate corrects the mistakes of nature, the lack of phosphorus at this time greatly weakens the plant and leads to a sharp decrease in yield. The introduction of phosphorus fertilizers in later phases does not eliminate the negative effect of the lack of it on plants in the first period of growth.
After the appearance of true leaves, the consumption of nutrients from the soil and fertilizers increases sharply, the roots of plants by this time become sufficiently developed and capable of assimilating the applied fertilizers. A period of maximum nutrient intake from both soil and fertilizers begins. If fertilizers were not applied before sowing, and there are few of them in the soil or not at all, since they managed to wash out of the soil during the autumn, winter and early spring, then the plants begin to starve and do not give a good harvest.
The maximum food intake is highest before flowering for most plants, or after 30 days for many non-flowering plants. Calendar it coincides with the first days of July. During this period, it is technically and technologically very difficult to apply fertilizers, you can damage the roots, some fertilizers simply cannot be embedded in the soil. Therefore, all fertilizers are applied as the main fertilizer, before sowing, as if in stock.
At the same time, it is very important that all fertilizers are embedded in the correct soil layer, in the layer where the roots grow, where the soil is always moist and where fertilizers will always be readily available to plants. During the period of maximum consumption, the roots of plants are well developed and are located at a depth of 10-18 cm in the moist soil layer, and the topsoil 0-10 cm by this time dries up greatly, the roots have left it. If fertilizers are embedded finely and end up in this layer, then they become inaccessible to plants, useless for the formation of the crop.
The main mistake that many gardeners make is surface application, poor incorporation of fertilizers, so fertilizers cannot enhance plant growth, nutrition is disturbed, and maximum nutrient intake from fertilizers and soil is not obtained. According to the rules, all fertilizers should be applied to the soil layer from 10 to 18 cm, that is, under a shallow digging, which would allow fertilizers to get into this layer.
In the second half of summer, when the crop matures, the consumption of nutrients from the soil and fertilizers decreases or stops altogether. At this time, the plant uses nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other food elements again, from the already accumulated reserves in the stems, leaves and roots (reuse). For the formation of grain, potato tubers and other economically valuable part of the crop, plants have adapted to use nutrients as a result of their recycling. But for plants to eat well in the second half of summer, they must eat well in the first half of summer, i.e. with sufficient fertilization before sowing (main application).
In these cases, there is no need to apply fertilizers for top dressing, when the harm from damage to the roots is greater than the benefit from fertilization. You just need to fill the soil well with organic and mineral fertilizers before sowing, for this, the main fertilization is used before sowing for plowing in spring to a depth of 10-18 cm in a continuous, belt, line, point or other way.
Consequently, one of the most important tasks of the fertilization system is to provide plants with nutrients at a time when it is especially sensitive to their lack - during a critical period or during the period of their greatest consumption. For this, such methods of introduction as main and pre-sowing have been developed. Top dressing is used as additional nutrition only when the gardener failed to apply some individual fertilizers on time, and also when there are clear signs of plant starvation.
And then, when the weather conditions were unfavorable (continuous rains, when a lot of nutrients were washed out of the soil); when too much flowering has occurred and a large amount of nutrients have been wasted for flowering. And also in the case when there was an abundant fruit set, and the plant was not able to "feed" too large a crop; when you need to get a harvest of vegetable products with increased quality (increased protein content, sugar content, fat content, minerals, tannins and spices, medicinal properties, etc.).
Therefore, top dressing is not included in the mandatory fertilization system. These are just additional methods in plant nutrition and in the fertilization system may not be considered. Top dressing, if we talk about them in detail, then this is a special topic of the story, the topic of a special article in the magazine.
Read the next part: What fertilizers are needed for various vegetable crops
Read all parts of the article about adaptive landscape farming:
• What is adaptive landscape farming
• Components of an adaptive landscape farming system
• Devices and methods in an adaptive landscape farming system
• Summer cottage farming: mapping fields, observing crop rotation
• Determining the structure of crops and crop rotations
• Fertilizer system as a basic element of summer cottage farming
• What fertilizers are needed for various vegetable crops
• Tillage systems
• Technologies of adaptive landscape farming system
• Black and pure fallow