Soil Conservation: Practical Ways Your Family Can Do

Why is it difficult to grow plants in your garden? Have you tried adding fertilizers to your soil, but still not enough to keep the plants in good condition? A lack of organic matter can cause these experiences. 

The soil benefits significantly from organic matter because it holds large amounts of water and provides nutrients. The soil will struggle to support plants’ growth without enough nutrients and water.

Nutrient and water deficiency will cause some issues. One of those is severe soil erosion which causes the loss of food crops. When the soil erodes, it loses all of its organic components found in the topsoil.

To combat soil erosion, one of the practices you can adopt is soil conservation. This article will help you get started with soil conservation with easy and simple ways that you can do at home.

Why practice soil conservation? 

One method for preventing or reducing soil erosion is soil conservation. Soil conservation can help to improve soil characteristics by keeping the nutrients it requires. According to Baumhardt and Blanco-canqui (2014), soil conservation is theoretically carried out by avoiding or restricting the release of soil particles and their transportation in water or the wind. 

As a result, soil fertility increases. It can help households grow plants from the backyard. The quality of the plants will be better and safer for regular consumption. It will benefit households not only by maintaining families’ health but also by saving food expenses.

Practices you can do at home

Are you interested in conserving soil but need help with getting started? You can take practical steps at home to help the soil’s quality. These actions are easy to do and useful for maintaining soil quality in your garden.

Building a rain garden

A rain garden is a small, shallow dip in your lawn that you may use to collect stormwater to grow wetland plants. 

The materials needed for building a rain garden are 1-1/2-inch river rock, decorative rocks and boulders, landscape fabric, native plants and grasses, and PVC pipe. The pieces of equipment required are a level, spade, and wheelbarrow. 

You must also consider the slope and plant selection for making a rain garden in your yard. Optimally, water will flow into your rain garden if there is a minimum slope of 1 inch in 4-1/2 feet (2% slope). 

Also, it is better to choose native plants. As these plants are local to your area, you can be sure they will flourish in the climate and soil. With the help of rain gardens, you can grow your plants while preventing soil erosion.

Organic farming

Organic farming can help avoid nitrogen leaching since no pesticides or artificial chemical fertilizers are used. Not only cost-efficient, but organic farming also ensures that no harmful chemicals end up in your family’s food.

Maintaining the pH level

A soil tester is a smart way to keep track of your soil’s pH levels. Most soils range from 3.5 to 10. Some factors that affect the pH levels are rainfall and flooding. The natural pH ranges from 5 to 7 in locations with more rainfall, whereas it ranges from 6.5 to 9 in drier areas.

Encouraging the presence of earthworms 

Yes, you read that right. The presence of earthworms can help conserve soils. The reason is that earthworms extensively channel and dig the ground, enhancing soil drainage and loosening and aerating the soil. Water infiltration in zero-till soils, where worm populations are significant, can be up to six times more than in cultivated soils. The presence of earthworms is a good indication of soil conditions favorable for plant growth because these animals only tolerate soil with the right temperature, pH level, and water content. 

Some ways to encourage the presence of earthworms in your garden are reducing the use of highly acidic fertilizers and fungicides, avoiding soil cultivation if possible, and planting green manure crops.

Spreading mulch

The mulch will protect the soil from wind and precipitation. Therefore, it helps soil to retain vital nutrients and moisture at the root level. 

You can buy mulch from the store. Or you can make them at home using compost, leaves, branches, and even newspapers. Newspapers arranged in a layer of four to eight sheets will make good mulch. Rough up the newspaper a little as you lay it on the garden so that the fragments can wrap around the base of your plant. Lightly mist the sheets to ensure they stay in place as you lay them on the ground. Avoid using old newspapers published before 1990 because these contain hazardous chemicals.

In conclusion

Soil erosion can make it difficult for plants to grow in your garden. The primary cause is a lack of nutrients and water, both of which are effects of an absence of organic matter. Soil conservation is one strategy for preventing or minimizing soil erosion. Soil conservation can enhance soil properties by preserving the nutrients it needs. Soil fertility will increase, as a result, boosting the soil’s ability to provide plants with the nutrients they require. You can use certain soil conservation methods at home, such as creating a rain garden, practicing organic gardening, keeping the pH level constant, promoting the existence of earthworms, and applying mulch.

If you would like to take your reading on soil conservation further, visit the Household Management Science Labs. The lab uses the research of the Institute for Life Management Science to produce tools and resources such as podcasts, videos, courses, and certifications. Check out the Household Management Science Labs today.

household management science labs

Photo by Sippakorn Yamkasikorn on Pexels

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.