Follow the Not-So-Ordinary Practices When Planting; Achieve the Not-So-Ordinary Yields

joseph n.n. By joseph n.n., 3rd Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Gardening>Planting & Growing

the Page gives the reader a brief guide on several organic measures that a small scale farmer can take to optimize crop yields even on a small piece of land.

Follow the Not-So-Ordinary Practices When Planting; Achieve the Not-So-Ordinary Yields

When I read the first lines of an article about tips on organic gardening, and how a farmer can harvest half a ton of vegetables from a three hundred-square-feet plot or even 100 pounds of tomatoes from just 100 square feet of land, I thought to myself; “well, that must be one extra-ordinary farmer, otherwise, it’s a lie”- that was until I read all of the article and concurred with the writer. It then occurred to me that high yields are not brought about by the size of the land that is used in planting, but by the correct skills. As a farmer, the best way to manage your farming activities is by constantly being on the search for methods of improving yield quantity and quality- do a lot of research. Also visit the government agricultural institutes that usually are very willing to help farmers with knowledge to develop- they even guide you on what farms to visit so as to learn from them.
Basically, the way you manage the planting and growing of crops directly relates to the amount and quality of harvest that you get. Increasing the amount of fertilizers used does not necessarily result into increasing yields, not to mention that the synthetic fertilizers are a threat to the soil quality in the long run. Organically, basic land management practices will ensure successful planting and growing of crops, especially for small pieces of land, and I will mention just a few of such practices. Building up raised beds to grow crops in, is one of the techniques. By use of raised beds, a lot of the soil used is the top fertile layer that is highly loosened during tilling, making it easy for plants to derive the nutrients for growth from the soil. Raised beds also protect the crops from damage by other humans as people will rarely walk on raised beds, which are easily noticeable, even when the crops are yet to germinate or are at early stages of growth and are too tiny to be seen. Raised beds can be improved by being rounded, or formed in form of an arc on the surface, increasing the surface area, and this increases the number of crops that can be planted on that surface; - increased yields.
Apart from raised beds, the practice of growing the plants while guiding them to spread vertically instead of transversely does a lot of good to the farmer. Climbing plants or plants with tendrils, such as tomatoes, peas, melons, squash and pole beans can be led to climb vertically by offering support in form of stakes, cages, fences or poles. This not only saves on space but also prevents attacks from soil-borne pests. Fungal infections are also put at bay as there is enough air circulation around the plant. Vertically climbing plants also make harvesting easier as the fruits to be picked are easily spotted; - a reduction in production cost. Crops with vines should be grown on trellises along one side of raised beds, using end posts with mesh netting or string in between to provide a climbing surface. Tie the growing vines to the trellis and if well set, even big fruit-yielding crops like melons develop thick stems to support them.
To achieve optimum yields, attention should be highly placed on the method and distance of spacing the crops. The normal square patterns and rows should be avoided and plants should be staggered or planted in triangle formations, taking care not to space the plants too tightly, as some crops will not reach optimum yields when crowded. When staggering these crops, it is always wise to mix up compatible crops to save space. Compatible crops should be such that as others grow tall, others may use them as support in climbing while other short ones may provide ground cover, leaving no chance for weeds. Take care, however, to space out the tall plants more so as not to deny the shorter plants the much required light. Lastly, apply succession planting where crops with different nutrient requirements are planted in succession so as to give the soil time for “recovery” as you get ready to return your initial crop type to the farm. When a small scale farmer takes heed of such planting and growing organic tips, he will be sure to be laughing during harvest time as others complain.


Optimize Yields, Organic Gardening

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author avatar joseph n.n.
an electrical engineer, a certified public accountant and an experienced banker. writing will focus on investing especially in financial markets, investing in agriculture and innovation articles

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