Gardening Vivian | 25 Feb 2010 08:33 am

Restoring Soil Fertility by Giving Your Soil a Rest

Worn out, depleted soil is a major concern for both farmers and consumers, as studies continue to reveal the problematic effects of chemical fertilizers. With no rest from cultivation or fertilization, farmers and agriculturists are noticing that because the soil is so depleted, crop fields are still not yielding despite fertilization with powerful state-of-the-art chemicals.

The problem? Instead of giving the fields rest and relieving them of the synthetic fertilizers, farmers just increase the application of these chemicals. What occurs is a real concern that crop yields will not be able to meet the food demands of the world population. In fact, in some areas of the world, they are not being met now.

In terms of fertility, soil has a limit as to how much support it can offer over a period of years, and then it becomes depleted. Adding nitrogen, potassium and phosphate only works for a time, but this is not enough of a boost to make the soil fertile again. It also has to be enriched with trace elements.

This is where soil testing can provide some answers. Soil testing does not work for every type of farmer. It works best for people with gardens and people with smaller fields. Soil quality can vary every couple of yards or even every couple of feet, so it can become very expensive to test the soil of large-scale agricultural operations. All they can do is estimate where depleted soils lie, and to have those tested to keep their testing costs reasonable.

But if you have a small garden, soil testing can be done without too much of a hassle. Soil testing kits can be easily found at a local garden store or online.

After testing the soil, you will specifically know what your soil is lacking. Let me give you some advice. For many gardeners, the reason their soil is so depleted is because they refuse to give it rest. Naturally, plants use the vitamins, minerals, and trace elements in the soil, but if done time after time, year after year, it is never replenished.

God didn’t command us to keep the Sabbath day for nothing. Soil that is continually worked will eventually become worn out and depleted of the vital nutrients your fruits and vegetables need to grow. Don’t wait until your soil is in trouble. Every six years, let your garden have a year off.

As well as giving your garden rest, you will also need to apply a natural fertilizer. You can either make your own with compost, manure, or dead leaves and plants, or if you want to save time you can purchase a natural fertilizer. Remember, natural fertilizers are organic, contain no chemicals, and are extremely beneficial in replenishing your depleted soil. In truth, they are vital to the long-term health of your soil, plants, and even you.

Christopher A. Williams (aka Natural Fertilizer Guy) edits the website:

The website contains articles about natural fertilizers and seaweed based fertilizers, as well as general natural gardening tips.

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