Back to: Agricultural Science Primary 4
Welcome to class!
In today’s class, we will be talking more about how to enrich the soil and maintain soil fertility. Enjoy the class!
Ways of making the soil fertile
The survival of plants and animals is directly or directly dependent on the soil seeing that the food that is required for our growth and development is largely obtained from the soil. The soil in turn needs to be fertile and continually retain its ability to produce healthy and nutritious crops. There are several ways by which we can make soil fertile or maintain its fertility. These ways include:
- Crop rotation
- Bush fallowing, etc.
Identify plants and animals in your environment and determine the food they require for their growth and development.
Ways of making the soil fertile
Planting cover crops:
Cover crops are mainly legumes, such as cowpea and mucuna. These crops add humus and mineral salts to the soil through their leaves and roots.
Adding green manure:
This involves ‘burying’ young green plants in the soil. When these decays, they add organic matter to the soil. Examples of green manure are soya beans, Centrosema etc.
Adding compost manure:
Compost is a decayed plant and animal material. When compost is added to the soil, it supplies humus and mineral salts to the soil for plant use. Materials for making compost are:
- Soft remains of vegetable and farm crops
- Weeds and grasses from the farm
- Compound and kitchen refuse.
- Animal dung.
- Wood ash.
- Water and urine.
Adding farmyard manure (FYM):
Farmyard manure is made up of all the beddings, faeces or droppings and urine of farm animals. It is added to the soil to make it rich in plant food.
This is the practice of covering the top of seedbeds with dry plant leaves and grasses. The dry leaves decay and add organic matter to the soil. Mulching also prevents the sun from heating off and evaporating some of the available nutrients in the soil.
Fertilisers are chemical substances which are added to the soil to increase plant food. Examples of fertilisers are NPK and urea.
- Mention five ways by which we can make the soil fertile.
Ways of maintaining soil fertility
Ways of maintaining soil fertility are crop rotation, fallowing, shifting cultivation, weeding, terracing, ridging, and making crossbars or ridges.
- Crop rotation: This is a farming method whereby crops are rotated or made to grow on the different plots every year in a planned manner.
- Fallowing in crop rotation: there is usually a plot that is left to fallow or rest every year with a crop like weeds growing on it. This practice helps to maintain soil fertility.
- Shifting cultivation: A farmer may plant crops on a piece of land in a year. The next year, the farmer leaves that plot and moves to another piece of land because plant food has been taken up by the crops in the first plot. This is called shifting cultivation, and it is done to enable the old plot of land to regain the lost plant food.
- Weeding: Weeds are unwanted plants growing on the farm. Weeds compete with the planted and wanted crops for food. When these weeds are removed, nutrients are retained in the soil for plant use. Weeding is the name given to the removal of weeds.
- Terracing: A sloppy land can be terraced to prevent soil nutrients from being washed away by rain or running water.
- Ridging: Farmers make ridges across the slopes to prevent excess running water from carrying away soil nutrients.
- State six ways of maintaining soil fertility.
- What is weeding?
- Weeds compete with crops for ———- a) plants b) attention c) nutrients
- Where do farmers need to build a terrace? a) sloppy land. b) level land c) bed
- In mulching, beds are covered with a) dry leaves. b) clothes c) roots
- Leaving a plot of land to rest is called a) ridging b) Mulching c) Fallowing
- Farming method where crops are rotated in the plot is called ——— a) fallowing b) shifting cultivation. c) crop rotation.
- List four ways by which we can make the soil fertile.
- List four materials for making com
In our next class, we will be talking about the Preparation of Compost/Manure. We hope you enjoyed the class.
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