Category: Soil

The Soils Cation Exchange Capacity and its Effect on Soil Fertility

Carrying out a soil analysis

Cation exchange capacity. Soil nutrients exist as positively charged or negatively charged ions when dissolved. The positively charged ions are known as cations and the negatively charged ions are known as anions. The nutrients which exist as cations are calcium (Ca2+), Magnesium Mg2+, ammonium (NH4+), potassium (K+), hydrogen (H+), sodium (Na+) aluminium (Al3+), iron (Fe2+), manganese (Mn2+), zinc (Zn2+) and copper (Cu2+). Some of the nutrients which exist as anions […]

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Peat Soils

Peat Soils feat

Peat soils are formed from partially decomposed plant material under anaerobic water saturated conditions. They are found in peatlands (also called bogs or mires). Peatlands cover about 3% of the earth’s land mass; they are found in the temperate (Northern Europe and America) and tropical regions (South East Asia, South America, South Africa and the Caribbean) 1. Peat soils are classified as histosols. These are soils high in organic matter […]

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How Do You Restore Degraded Soil?

Sprout growing out of concrete

A degraded soil typically loses its ability to supply food and habitation to living organisms, in its surrounding. When this happens, effort is made to restore the soil back to its natural state. Characteristics of a degraded soil include: high salinity, decline in fertility, decline in organic matter (leading to decline in soil structure), soil erodibility, increase in alkalinity and acidity. Soil degradation can be caused by man: for example, […]

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Soil

green soil

What is soil? There is more than one definition for soil the most common is that soil is a natural medium on which plants grow. A more broader definition is one by Gerard (2001) “ soil is a natural body composed of minerals, organic compounds, living organisms, air and water in interactive combinations produced by physical, chemical and biological processes” The soil around us can be so easily overlooked and […]

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Comparative look at Organic and Conventional Farming

Comparative look at Organic and Conventional Farming

Organic farming has in the recent past gained popularity. Farmers are willing to take up the risks associated with this venture and commit themselves to stringent measures required to attain organic farming certification. Consequently, with the growing interest in this form of organic, there is a rise in criticism of the same measure by those who have kept on opposing organic farming. Conventional farming standards, that are heavily seen to […]

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Soil Formation

Colourful

Soil is formed through the process of rock weathering. Weathering is the breakdown of rocks into smaller particles when in contact with water (flowing through rocks), air or living organisms. Weathering can occur physically, biologically or chemically. Physical weathering: This is the disintegration of rocks into smaller particles with no alteration in their molecular structure. Air and water are agents of physical weathering. Windblown on rocks, heavy downpour of rain, […]

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Addressing Nitrogen Deficiency in Organic Crop Production

planting potatoes

In the last few articles that we have recently been publishing, a key issue has over and over crept up. This is the issue of the challenges that organic crop production faces. These challenges as outlined by a recent study were found to be the lack of nitrogen as a nutrient and the other one was seen as the lack of proper mechanism towards tackling pests and weeds. Organic food […]

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The Problem with Growing Tomatoes Where I Live

Homegrown Cherry Tomatoes (Courtesy of  OakleyOriginals)

Somewhere in this country people are doing it well, and truth be known, I now work at a conscientious, mindful organic farm (organizing volunteers and a farmers’ market) with vast biodiversity, animals and plants, that manages to pull enough crop to keep me in organic tomatoes. However, despite what appears to the contrary, what seemed illogical to me not so long ago, in a climate that never gets too cold […]

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Confusing your Compost with your Mulch?

Confusing your Compost with your Mulch feat

What is Compost? Compost is decomposed organic material. It is manmade, commonly using a mix of kitchen scraps and wet & dry garden leaves, grasses and trimmings. When it is ready it is a deep dark brown, almost black, feels moist and crumbly to touch, and does not smell bad, but has an appealing earthy smell. There are various methods of making compost according to your needs, location, availability of […]

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Learning More on How to Think about Soil

Seedling & Soil

I don’t know why it is, but I’ve taken to waking up at about five every morning. I kiss my wife Emma on the head, creep downstairs from the loft of our apartment and spend the next hour or more watching Geoff Lawton videos from the PDC course. She knows I’m doing it. It’s nothing weird. But, for the most part, we don’t talk all that much about it. This […]

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Soil Nutrients

Soil Nutrients feat

During the international year of soil in 2015, global attention was drawn to the importance of a healthy soil. One of the key facts emphasized by the food and agricultural organization was that sustainable management of soils can lead to a 58% increase in food production (FAO, 2015). Soil nutrient composition plays a key role in determining the goodness of a soil. A healthy soil will have all the essential […]

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Biochar: Helps Increase Crop Yields and Mitigates Climate Change

Biochar-Helps-Increase-Crop-Yields-and-Mitigates-Climate-Change-feat

Whenever we hear the word biochar, most of us are thinking that this is not a climate-friendly method since it undergoes combustion process and can aggravate greenhouse effect. Though this is a thousand years old industrial technology technique for soil enhancer, some are still confused if it’s the real deal. Is it, in fact, a too good to be true method for agriculture? What is Biochar? Biochar is a soil […]

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