How to Combat Over-Fertilized Soil

As the weather starts to get warmer, you’re going to get much busier with farm work. There will be plenty of things to plan for and get started. It’s easy to get lost in the business of making a successful farm, which can be both good and bad. It’s great to have a passion you can throw yourself into, but the heavy workload can also cause issues to arise.

One thing that’s typical for farms to struggle with at one point or another is over fertilized soil. The reasons this can happen form a seemingly endless list, so it depends on how your farm is run and what’s been happening in recent weeks. Read up on some of the ways you can easily combat over fertilized soil so your season isn’t disrupted and you can go on to have another successful season.

1. Eliminate Damaged Leaves

It’s a common misbelief that damaged leaves can be nursed back to health. It comes from seeing how badly leaves can get after not being watered enough only to pop back up and look fine after a short time with regularly watering. With over fertilization, this isn’t possible. The difference is that fertilizer burn kills off the plant, so it can’t be brought back with treatment.

Damaged leaves may have a wilted, yellowing appearance. Tips can be brown or black, and in the worst cases, the rot continues down to the roots. Remove the entire leaf and stem to keep the rot from spreading. Even if the plant ends up being whittled down to just its core, it can spring back in just a few weeks.

2. Check Your Soil Drainage

If you double check and are sure that you’re using the right amount of fertilizer, the issue might be with your soil drainage. You can test this by digging one-foot by one-foot holes in a few different locations on your farm, covering them and letting them dry out for a few days. When you’re ready, fill them with water and wait to see how long it takes for them to drain.

The optimal drainage time would be between 30 minutes and four hours. If it takes longer than that, you need to increase the drainage of your farm. You can do this in a couple different ways, but the next step in the list could be your best bet to helping your plants grow.

3. Look into Bioremediation

Bioremediation is a fairly new technology being used to promote soil health on farms across the globe. It takes live organisms and uses them to neutralize or remove harmful pollutants from soil as a waste management process. The microbes do all the work without needing to truck in new soil and start a plot from scratch. The pollutants can range from too much fertilizer to highway runoff, so it’ll take care of problems in your soil before you find out that they’re even there.

4. Replace Top Soil

Another way to combat over fertilized soil is to replace the top soil. This can be done before or after plants have rooted. Replacing the top soil eliminates a large chunk of the fertilizer sitting around your plants and it’ll allow fresh water to flush out the remainder underneath.

Taking care of a farm that’s sitting in over fertilized soil doesn’t have to feel like an impossible job. There are easy steps you can take to give your plants a fresh start, from checking the soil drainage to implanting bioremediation. Whichever method you decide to use, know that there is a solution and your farm will continue to go on to be the successful land you pour your heart and soul into.

About the author: Emily is a sustainability writer and avid gardener. You can read more of her work on her site, Conservation Folks, where she writes about helping tomorrow’s planet today.