Importance of soil preparation: Soil preparation is an essential step of gardening. The process through which the soil is cut, made weed-free, softened, loosed, and pulverized to sow plant seeds properly and provide subsequent seedling growth is called soil preparation. In a narrower sense, soil preparation is the loosening of soil with the help of implements to grow plants. But there are several technologies involved in soil preparation. For example, seeds to be sown-
- In a suitable place,
- In proper depth for germination,
- To create easy air movement conditions,
- To bring the soil of the upper area in the low and
- The soil of the low area in the upper area and also to increase.
Soil preparation is the preliminary step involved in land preparation. From the beginning, you could realize the importance of soil preparation. For that reason, they used to make pointed wood or stone implements. They used to cut, harrow, and soften the soil to sow seeds or transplant seedlings with the help of these pointed implements. Soil preparation may vary with the plants, but its importance could not be ignored.
Importance of soil preparation
The necessities of soil preparation can be realized from the objectives of land preparation. The objectives of land preparation are enlisted below:
1. Making soil suitable for seed germination:
The process by which soil is made friable to bring it in favorable condition for seed germination and plant growth is called tillage. Repeated ploughings make the soil soft, granular, and fine. Therefore, a physical soil condition is created, which is favorable for seed germination and plant growth.
In what manner and to what extent will the land be prepared to depend on soil types, soil organic matter and moisture, and types of plants. Tillage by 3/4 plowing in light soil like loamy, sandy, or sandy-loam soil can make the soil suitable for growing plants. Heavy soil like clayey soil requires ⅚ time plowings.
Soil gets friable if there is moisture in the soil during plowing, otherwise plowing creates larger soil clods. The soil particles remain granular and consolidated if there is high organic content in the soil. And the soil preserves the seed well and helps to germinate easily.
2. Mixing fertilizer and organic matter in soil:
It is necessary to apply fertilizer and organic matter to the soil. One of the objectives of tillage is to mix fertilizer and organic matter in the soil. For that reason, after one or two ploughings, compost/organic fertilizer should be broadcasted in soil, and these are mixed with soil during subsequent ploughings. Sometimes, the legume Sesbania bispinosa is cultivated as a green manure plant, and it is mixed with soil before flowering to enrich the soil in organic matter and fertility.
3. Controlling soil-borne insects:
There are many insects in the soil that are very harmful to plants. During tillage, these insects with their cocoon and eggs become open to birds and sunlight and are destroyed. Among the soil-borne insects, termites, crickets, and ants are predominant.
4. Increasing water-holding capacity in soil:
Tillage increases the water-holding capacity of the soil. Water is quickly evaporated and moves by run-off from un- tilled land. But in tilled land, soil absorbed fertilizer and irrigation more. Thus the water-holding capacity of tilled soil is more. In that soil, when seeds are sown, they germinate and grow quickly.
5. Increasing micro-organism activities in soil:
Various micro-organisms help soil keep health good. Among them, fungi and bacteria are the main. These organisms, remaining in the soil, help to decompose soil organic matter. Proper soil preparation helps activate these soil organisms. As a result, plants can uptake nutrients easily and yield good plants.
6. Controlling soil erosion:
Another important objective of tillage is to level high-low soil and compact the land. Consequently, rain or irrigation water cannot flow outside the land. Thus, tillage prevents soil erosion and ensures proper utilization of water.