The continuous planting of crops in your garden makes your soil depleted and after a couple of planting season, you’ll notice a great decline in your harvest. This is because the soil has no more available food nutrients for the plants to sustain growth.
Therefore, it’s vital for you to manage your garden properly in order to make it productive again for the next cropping season. Failure to do so, would just makes your efforts in vain and you would be spending your time planting without any return on your investment.
There are crops that are considered heavy soil nutrient’s users. They consumed most food nutrients during their entire growth period like, corn, sorghum, sweet potato, rice, and lots more. While there are crops that are good soil boasters. They contributes in sustaining the nutrient’s availability in the soil for the benefits of other cash crops.
Ways to replenish soil nutrients in your garden
• Bio-intensive gardening
This methods of sustaining your soil’s fertility is by burying some garden grass cuttings and other waste products after harvest. This practice is famous in a small land area where you’ve to maximize the use of land for planting different kinds of crops. No burning is allowed in bio-intensive gardening. All waste materials are buried under the ground to decompose naturally with the help of some microorganisms under the soil profile.
• Crop rotation
Rotating your crop planting minimizes too much depletion of major elements especially when you plant alternately soil boaster crops with crops that depletes the soil. After harvesting your present crops, you’ve to plant another set of crops like leguminous plants to help rejuvenate your depleted soil. Leguminous crops includes all types of beans, ipil-ipil as border plants and other types of legumes.
Always plan your planting calendar to include soil enhancer crops with other crops that depletes your soil to maintain the nutrients present in your garden for continuous cropping the whole year round.
One way that nutrients are placed back into the soil is by composting. This is done by using waste materials that includes plant waste, leaves, grass, garbage (kitchen refuse), and animal manures. Some soil microbes and bacteria work to break down the organic material into compost to add nutrients for the soil to remain to becomes useful for another cropping season.
• Cover cropping
Another popular way of replenishing your soil is by the so called cover cropping or living mulch within your plant population. This method is b y planting covers during winter season, then plowed under the soil to decompose. Other ways, is by growing cover crops as cash crop during regular planting time and serves as a living mulch. They are planted in between rows of the main crop to reduce nutrients’ leaching. Other benefits of cover crops includes to improve soil tilt, control weeds growth, control soil erosion and maintains organic matter presence in the soil.