Cultivation - shallow or deep

Cultivation - shallow or deep

Garden soil is a living thing. The content of water and air as well as the amount of available light and heat in particular seasons are of significant importance in soil processes. The soil consists of layers, which are formed due to the weathering of the bedrock, root growth, decomposition of organic matter and formation of humus. Soil cultivation, i.e. deep or shallow loosening, digging or mulching, it can improve or worsen the course of soil-forming processes.

The fierce debate on how to cultivate the soil in recent years would be more to the point, if it had taken into account the diversity of soils in nature. The keen observer knows, when to dig the soil - in autumn, in spring or not at all. As already mentioned, soil organisms need specific living conditions. The flora and fauna of the upper layers of soil do not develop in the lower layers, and vice versa. This does not mean, however, that deeper digging and turning of the soil is inadvisable. The structure of biologically active soil quickly rebuilds after cultivation. If there is enough air, water and heat, the organisms that cooperate in the formation of soil lumps regenerate quickly. Plants are also conducive to this "rebuilding", because surrounded by their roots (in the rhizosphere) soil organisms are particularly active. If after deep soil digging, which increases the access of air to its deeper layers, there is no stronger plant growth, means, that the organic matter had mineralized and there was no improvement in soil structure.

Before the onset of winter, the clay soil should be deeply dug and left in the so-called. sharp furrow. Water penetrates into such soil more easily, which freezes in winter, bursting larger lumps (soil volume increases by 9%). It is a mechanical fragmentation, which ensures that the soil dries up earlier and warms up earlier in the spring and the formation of a lumpy structure. Soil rich in humus and with a permanent lumpy structure is enough to dig shallowly only in spring.

In warm and sandy soils, frequent loosening should be avoided, to preserve the lumpy structure of the upper layer. Each deeper loosening accelerates the decomposition of organic matter, which leads to its mineralization. Because light soils are easily permeable, many nutrients penetrate into the groundwater, especially during periods of heavy rainfall. Poplony (plants grown for green manure) and vegetables hibernating in the ground prevent the leaching of valuable ingredients and increase the humus content in the soil. In early spring, we use crop residues or green mass of catch crops for mulching or we dig shallowly. We perform various beauty treatments from spring through summer. The soil surface between the rows of plants should be loosened relatively often, which breaks the capillary system, which the water evaporates, and prevents excessive water evaporation from the soil. As evaporation lowers the soil temperature, the loosened soil heats up faster. This treatment simultaneously destroys the sprouting weeds. We loosen the soil until the time, until the leaves of the plants cover the surface of the soil in the inter-row spaces. This method of soil cultivation is possible only in row cultivation of plants. This is impossible with the projection sowing of seeds.

Mulching the soil in the inter-rows in summer allows you to resign from some cultivation work. The weeds under the litter cannot develop freely, however, if they overgrow the litter layer, crop care becomes cumbersome.

Another issue is related to the cultivation of soil. Air enters the soil with each tillage, which accelerates the processes taking place in it. The existing structure is destroyed and must be rebuilt. Then the cosmic forces can play an important role. If we cultivate the soil taking into account cyclical changes in space, then we regulate important soil processes. We will deal with this problem in more detail in one of the following chapters.

As you can see, each gardener has to decide for himself, when and how does he want to cultivate the soil in his garden - whether he wants to mulch it, or shallow or deep loosen. Moreover, every action must be related to fertilization, the use of various preparations and the course of cyclical phenomena in nature.