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Archive | Build Soil

Learn sustainable practices for building and maintaining healthy soil. High quality soil requires diverse soil life and microbes, soil organic matter, humus and the right balance of minerals and nutrients.

Weeds and soil – pigweed likes moisture

Weeds: What’s Wrong (and What’s Right) With Your Soil

Weeds are an index of what is wrong — and sometimes what is right — with the soil, or at least with the fertility program. In every field on every farm, there are different soil types, and each has a potential for producing certain weeds, depending on how a farmer works the soil. Fall tillage, […]

Nodules on legume roots help fix nitrogen

Do Legumes Really Fix Nitrogen in the Soil? (Sponsored)

Most of the legumes important in agriculture are known as nitrogen fixers, but the plants themselves don’t really fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. These legumes can form a mutually beneficial association with rhizobia bacteria that “fix” nitrogen from the air and share it with their host plant.

A model of a tank fertilizer system.

Organic Fertilizers for Horticulture

Natural products such as these generally do not have high N-P-K num­bers, but offer a wealth of readily available nutrients to plants in a living soil.

Figure 4.

Deciding What Amount of Nutrients to Apply

This table shows the means (mass flow, diffusion or intercep­tive root growth) by which nutrients are taken up through the roots.

Soil samples are prepared to run through analysis.

Water-Soluble Soil Tests for Crops

Plant tissue testing, as done by most labs, is not as informative as water-soluble soil tests. Tissue tests only test the soluble contents of the cells.

organic manure added to a field

Adding Organic Manure to Your Crops

Manures are an excellent source of nitrogen.