How to increase fertility on difficult soils without digging
To dig or not to dig? That is the question
Fertility in difficult soils
But what if you have solid clay or heavy loam on your site? Especially don't dig.
Often books recommend adding sand to clay soils. Why do you need such hard labor?
If your land is very dense, build up the fertile layer on top... That is, add compost on the site of the future garden bed. So that you do not get confused by its unpresentable appearance, fence its cross-to-cross with placed sticks and sow peas, nasturtium or curly ornamental beans in front of them, or plant beans, sunflowers, corn, cosmea around the perimeter. Leave only on the side you cannot see, the passageway to fill the pile.
The next year, you will begin to lay a new compost pile nearby, and in the first, plant pumpkins or zucchini. You can also use it with cucumbers.
To prevent heat and moisture from leaving the heap, it should be covered with an old film, securing it so that the wind does not carry it away. The film can be either black or white, but spunbond or lutrasil are not suitable for this purpose. This must be done before the snow has melted, otherwise the pile may dry out by the time of sowing.
Before sowing, remove the film, make holes in a heap with a volume of about a three-liter jar, fill them with half-fertile soil, water well and sow seeds in them. Then cover the pile with plastic again. Once the seedlings reach the film, cut holes and release them out. If there is a danger of frost, then the plants can be covered with lutrasil on top.
This is where the work ends. No more watering or feeding the plants is required. Under the film and strong foliage of pumpkin crops, the compost will mature in one season. At the end of summer, cut off the above-ground part of the plants that have matured and transfer to the new compost heap that you piled over the summer. Leave the rest of the root system in place. The worms will eat them up.
Next year, after making additional holes in the film and adding a dessert spoon of calcium nitrate to each of them, plant seedlings of any cabbage, except for Beijing and kohlrabi. It will be necessary to feed cabbage in the second half of summer only with microelements. It is best to make one or two top dressing on the leaves, using any of the preparations: "Florist" or "Uniflor-Bud" (4 teaspoons per 10 liters of water). You will have to water only if the weather is hot, dry. Water must be poured into the holes in the film under the root, and in very hot weather, early in the morning, you will have to pour cold water from a well over the cabbage right over the "head". After harvesting, the covering leaves and roots of the cabbage should be left in the garden bed. The film will have to be removed, leaving it only on the sides of the garden.
Next year, the zucchini will move to a new compost heap, cabbage will move to their place, and in its place you can plant early potatoes or onions on a turnip. Then you can plant the beets, which will have to be watered once with a solution of table salt (1 glass per 1 liter of water) for feeding with sodium when it has 5-6 leaves.
Beets can also be planted along with cabbage along the edge of the garden. She loves to grow on the edge and is friends with cabbage crops. It's a good idea to plant celery at the ends of a cabbage patch. And rows of onions can be alternated with rows of carrots. These cultures also love this neighborhood. But you can also sow a bed of carrots after onions.
Once again, I draw the attention of readers to the fact that after removing the film from the garden, only the crop is harvested, and all other parts of the plants are left in the garden and in the soil. Moreover, in the fall, leaves or weeds are thrown over there in the fall.
For another year, the garden bed can be used for salad, dill, parsley. Please note that you do not need to feed or water these crops.
A year later, in the earliest spring, you can sow a radish, and after harvesting it in early summer, plant a strawberry mustache. Strawberries should be planted denser than usual, that is, mustache should be planted in the middle of the garden in one row at a distance of 15-20 cm from each other. Add one third of a teaspoon of AVA granular fertilizer to each well when planting, then you will not need any more fertilizing for three years.
To avoid weeding, roll a roll of paper glued from several layers of newspaper on both sides of the strawberries. When the strawberry has a whisker, punch holes in the newspaper so that the whiskers take root, and leave to winter. In spring there will be practically no newspapers left, but there will be no room for weeds to grow, since strawberries will take up all the free space.
Don't do anything with the plantation. It does not need to be fed or watered, except in very hot and dry weather in spring and early summer. Fertilizer will last for three years, and under a continuous canopy of its own leaves, it will retain moisture in the soil.
I emphasize once again no need to do anything, even if it grows by itself, the only thing that should be done is to spray the plantings in the spring with the regrowth of young leaves with the preparation "Zircon" together with the preparation "Epin-extra", and the second time, after harvesting, only with "Zircon". This drug is not poisonous. It is a mixture of xicoric acids, which are produced by the immune system of any plant, therefore, it sharply enhances the plant's own defenses, causes accelerated development and rapid ripening of the crop. Such plants do not take diseases.
"Zircon" helps them get rid of not only fungal and bacterial diseases, but even viral ones. Therefore, there are no pathogens on the leaves, in particular, gray rot or white spot, so the leaves do not need to be removed from the plantation. They provide enough organic matter to not only cover the strawberries with their own fur coat, but also feed them.
The drug "Epin-extra" is also not poisonous, it is of natural origin and has the useful property of strengthening the own immune system of plants, which makes it easier for them to endure the vagaries of the weather: drought, sudden changes in temperatures day and night, frost, prolonged cold snap, and so on.
After three to four years, the harvest of berries in the garden will begin to fall. When you remove it, just mow off all the strawberries with a scythe, or even better - cut off with a Fokin flat cutter, sinking 2-3 cm into the soil, and start putting compost on this place. Then everything will be repeated from the beginning.
This whole scheme of creating fertility should be applied on the sands. Only under the compost on the sand it is necessary to lay roofing material or an old film in several layers so that nutrients do not go through the sand.
If you have a perfectly acceptable soil, then its fertility will gradually recover or improve over time if you sow the vacant bed with white mustard every year at the end of summer and leave all plant residues after harvesting on the bed, and not drag them into compost. In the spring, just slightly dig up the soil to a depth of 5 cm and immediately sow the garden with seeds of cultivated plants. The crop rotation can be left the same as on the compost heap, but before planting each crop, a little "Bogorodskaya zemlyatsya" and a third of a teaspoon of the powdered fraction of the AVA fertilizer should be added to the hole. You ask, what kind of "Bogorodskaya zemlyets" is this? This is a soil rich in beneficial microorganisms.
Remember, we said that soil fertility is due to the number of microorganisms living in it. Most of them die in the winter in the upper soil layer. Some of them, of course, will remain and begin to multiply, but they will reach the required number only by the end of the season. If you take a bag of such soil and put it in the cellar, then the microorganisms will perfectly survive and multiply.
It is especially good to take such soil from rotted compost, into which "Vozrozhdenie" or "Baikal-EM" were introduced. They just populate the soil with beneficial bacteria that improve the fertility of the earth. These preparations should be introduced in the spring, after the end of the frost, or at the beginning of summer, but not later than the middle of summer, otherwise they will not have time to multiply in sufficient quantities. Unfortunately, these beneficial bacteria will die even at one degree of frost, as well as at temperatures above 23 degrees Celsius. So many of the failures in the use of these drugs are related precisely to the violation of the temperature regime during their transportation and storage.
Scientist OA Arkhipchenko works in St. Petersburg, who created biologically active fertilizers "Bamil" based on mullein and "Omug" based on poultry manure. They also colonize the soil with beneficial microorganisms that help improve the soil. They should be brought in a teaspoon per hole when planting seedlings in the ground or greenhouse. It is enough to add a tablespoon under the growing bush, a teaspoon in a flower pot, and sprinkle the groove before sowing the seeds. But these fertilizers should also not be left in the cold in winter.
G. Kizima, gardener