Keeping plants healthy can increase yield and boost your satisfaction with the outcome of growing crops. Safe and healthy crop farming is far from challenging, as long as you know which techniques deliver the best results.
Are you passionate about farming? Just getting started and in need of some information? The following guide will acquaint you with five of the best techniques for safe and sustainable crop farming.
Take some time to make sure the soil’s perfect before planting new crops. The first thing you have to do is loosen the soil, get rid of rocks and pull out weeds. The addition of organic matter to the soil will also be beneficial. Compost or manure are to excellent options for increasing the quality of the soil before you begin growing plants. Make sure that you've placed seeds, bulbs and seedlings at the right depth. Most of these don’t need to be pushed deep into the soil. If necessary, do a bit of online research to make sure that your plants are getting the right start.
To do pest control and reduce future infestation risks, you will have to pick the right technique and product. Natural pest control options are quite efficient. Repellents that keep animals and insects away from the crops are the best. These don’t kill animals while producing pest control results without disturbing the natural habitat. Such products can be found for effective insect control and for keeping animals like squirrels, moles and field mice away.
The Right Plants
Deciding how to organize the garden is very important for maximum yield. If you plan to grow shade-loving plants, you’ll have to find the right spot for those. The same applies to crops that need to be exposed to sunlight during most of the day. Giving plants optimal growth conditions will make them much more capable of fighting diseases without your interference. This means you need to have a really good idea about watering, pruning and weeding requirements. If your plants succumb to a disease regardless of your efforts, you may want to choose a natural product to do damage control. Most problems are caused by fungi. Biologically-safe fungicides can help you get rid of the disease-causing agent without affecting the quality of the crops.
Keeping the same plant in the same spot season after season will exhaust the soil. Crop rotation is the best possibility for keeping the yield high in a natural way. Switch the places of different crops. Make sure that the plants you’re switching, however, aren't members of the same family. Diseases can build up if you don’t practice crop rotation and they will strike similar plants. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplants and potatoes are all members of the same family. The same applies to pumpkin, watermelon, cucumber and zucchini. Keep those facts in mind when thinking about ways to rotate your crops.
Grow Cover Crops
To improve the soil even further, consider growing cover crops in the end of the season. A cover crop is mainly grown to enrich the soil. It also prevents erosion and keeps weeds under control. Many different plants can be used as cover crops – buckwheat (for summertime growing), barley, winter peas, oats, rye and hairy vetch are all wonderful possibilities. Take a look at your leftover seeds – you may find another option that will be ideal for enriching the soil and getting it ready for the upcoming season.