The soil loses many nutrients after every cultivation season and farmers use many methods to replenish the lost nutrients. Majority of the conventional farmers use chemical fertilisers and pesticides to prepare the land for the next planting season. This they do when they plant and still top dress the crop with the chemicals. This practice is both costly and does not give yield to healthy food.
With the increasing awareness of organic farming, farmers are now wiser and using other methods to add nutrients to the soil without using any chemicals. Farmers are going green and using organic and natural ways to improve the health of the soil and harvest healthy food. The methods are environment friendly and much cheaper than it is using processed and chemical fertilisers. Below are some of the organic and natural products organic farmers are using in their organic farming.
Organic farming products for soil health
Waste may seem unimportant to some people but it is one of the most beneficial products to use for soil health. Collected waste is turned into compost to make organic matter through a biological breakdown process. When the process is taking place, the organic matter releases carbon in the form of carbon dioxide. In return, the process generates water and heat. What is left after the release of carbon, is matter rich in nutrients.
Instead of chemical fertilisers, this organic matter is more effective and a great source of soil microorganisms. The organic matter increases the soils fertility and nutrients solubility. It helps the soil to avoid nitrogen immobilisation, which weakens the soil. Compost makes granule and organic liquid fertilisers.
Manure is easily available and one of the best products to use for soil health and fertility. Obtained from horses, cows, poultry, pigs, goats and sheep, the product is highly efficient and recommended as it is cheap and it boots the crop yields.
· Plant decays
When you allow plant materials to decay, they turn into green manure, which is another highly potent organic nutrient for the soil. The decayed plants provide the soil with useful bacterial that nourishes the roots of the crops as sugars. The bacteria then provide the plants with useful nitrogen. Some of the plants that make the best green manure are legumes such as soybeans, clover, and alfalfa. Another good example is tithonia, which contains phosphorous, nitrogen and potassium.
· Earthworms- (Vermin- composting)
The earthworm lives in the soil and it helps in keeping the soil aerated. Making earthworm composts helps with the build-up of more earthworm tunnels in the soil. With more tunnels, water retention and provision of nutrients to the soil gets better. This in turn improves the health of the soil leading to better, more and healthier yield. An increase of earthworms in the soil also ensures that the bacteria population does not go down thus increasing the nitrogen levels.
Healthy soil contains microorganisms that help to promote plant growth by converting unavailable potash, nitrogen and phosphorous into available state that the plants can use. The same microorganisms are also enriching the growing crops with growth promoters, amino acids and vitamins. Conventional farming kills the microorganisms because of the harsh chemicals. Bio fertilisers help with the provision of nitrogen to the plants and help to convert insoluble forms of some compounds into soluble form. Bio fertilisers mixed with other organic products like manure and compost make potent soil ingredients for better health and more production.
Benefits of using organic products for soil health
Some of the benefits that come with using organic products are
- Better soil structure
- Availability of nutrients to the growing plants
- Water retention, which is crucial for the growth of plants
- Inexpensive because majority of the products are from recycled waste, compost, animal, and plant waste.
- Less diseases for the plants
- Healthy food
Wrapping it up
All crops and soil types have varying soil heath requirements. However, organic –products work well with almost every soil and crop type as compared to conventional products. Poor quality of soil leads to poor yield, which in turn leads lack of uniformity of the crop produce. You can rely on organic ingredients to keep the produce uniform at all times.