In 2017 there were a recorded 2.05 million farms in the US according to The United States Department Of Agriculture. Now, compare that number to the 6.8 million farms which existed in 1935. In 2017, 36.8 percent of households with incomes below the Federal poverty line were food insecure. The United States has a growing population of approximately 328 million people. This means an estimated 120.7 million people experience food insecurity each year. There is a good reason to grow your own produce.
Your space might be a small strip of land around your home, a plot, an acre or acres. No matter if it’s a mandala garden, herb beds or fields of produce you must begin by nurturing the land to encourage favorable soil. Testing the soil PH levels is a good way to know what type of crop will prosper in specific places. The ideal PH range is between 6.0 and 6.5. You can adjust the PH by using soil amendments for example, you can raise soil pH by adding wood ash. And to lower soil pH, add organic materials such as compost.
Clear Your Land
Before you can create a seedbed, you should clear the area of debris by removing grass, weeds, trees etc. This process is crucial as it will not only make subsequent operations possible but it will also eliminate certain crop pests, encourage the penetration of roots into the soil and it will incorporate organic matter into the soil. Furthermore, loosening the soil optimizes the retention and penetration of air, water, and nutrients. You will require one or more tools such as brush mowers, string trimmers, stump grinders or track harvesters.
Tilling After Cultivation
You can hand till or double dig at a reduced level of 4-8 inches when mixing soil amendments into your bed. This is not recommended unless you plan to add substantial amounts of organic amendments to improve soil quality. This way you ensure that your soil surface is level and you eradicate insects, their eggs, larvae and breeding places. You can also rent or purchase an electric tiller for smaller projects. You should wait at least two to three weeks after tilling to begin planting crops.
Prepare Your Rows
You may choose to cover the soil with mulch. It is a cost-effective layering process utilizing organic materials such as grass clippings, tree bark etc. This process enriches the soil by enhancing nutrient and water retention also, it encourages microbial activity. Lasagna gardening suggests that you simply build layers on top of your soil rather than upturn the soil itself. Raised beds or rows allow for proper drainage, which assists plants through a period of heavy rainfall, and moves water away from plant roots. Rows also allow air to enter into the soil.
The aforementioned are the essentials to developing land for the purpose of framing. They are simple but will provide all the nourishment your soil needs to grow healthy organic plants. Look forward to a healthier, more sustainable future.