In agriculture there are various techniques to avoid altering or degrading too much the soil in which we are working. If we maintain the ideal conditions of our soil, it will remain fertile and useful for longer. On the other hand, if we overexploit it, the soil will gradually degrade and erode, losing production capacity and impoverishing the land.
That is why the technique of crop rotation exists. This technique consists of alternating planting of different families that have different nutritional needs, but it is done in the same place. This is carried out in different cycles to prevent the soil from losing its properties and degrading, and as a bonus, we can avoid diseases that affect only one type of plant. What benefits does this crop rotation have?
- 1 Characteristics and advantages of crop rotation
- 2 Purpose of crop rotation
- 3 What benefit can crop rotation have in our orchard?
Features and benefits of crop rotation
Crop rotation is a technique that favors the conservation of the soil and its properties and also favors the variability of crops. In this way, the subscriber is better used and weeds are better controlled. By using plants with other nutritional needs and other physiological characteristics, problems with pests and diseases are reduced. The protagonists of the pests find it more difficult to survive if the crops remain exposed to them for less time.
To optimize this technique, a legume should be introduced regularly in the crop rotation and alternate with plants that require a large amount of organic matter (for example potatoes, pumpkin or asparagus), with others less demanding in organic matter. (such as onions and peas).
Purpose of crop rotation
The main objective of crop rotation is to maintain biodiversity and conserve soil properties. When we talk about maintaining biodiversity we mean that the number of species in ecosystems (even if they are agricultural) is maintained, both in plant, animal and insect species. This also favors the use of the soil since the differences that crops have in the rate of absorption of nutrients from the substrate are used to optimize yield.
Although most species need the same nutrients, not all need it in the same proportion. That is why there will be species that are more demanding in terms of the amount of nutrients they need and others that will not be as demanding. If we plant the same nutrient-demanding species, either in quantity or in any specific one, the soil will deplete its substrate and will overexploit in order to supply those nutrients to the plant. However, if we change the crops for less demanding ones, we will let the soil “breathe” so that it can be recomposed. In this way, we avoid the excessive use of fertilizers , whose use can contaminate groundwater.
What benefit can crop rotation have in our orchard?
The first and most effective is the need for less fertilizer. By using less amount of fertilizer for the garden, we will save time, we will avoid efforts and above all, money, in the production of our vegetables.
We also gain in health, since the plants are better nourished and are more balanced as they have fewer nutrient deficiencies. Plants grow stronger and produce more. In addition, naturally, they gain greater resistance to pests and diseases and this means that we do not use pesticides or herbicides. Against this, crop rotation is very effective. Suppose a pest or disease has attacked our garden. If we change the crops, it is very likely that we will kill the pest , since they do not like their new environment. With this we achieve that for other seasons, the pests do not reappear.
Finally, contributing to the maintenance of biodiversity, we get it to work in balance with our garden, helping us to reduce weeds. In addition, it favors the enrichment of the soil, improving humus reserves and favoring the activity of beneficial microorganisms that live in the substrate.