The soil is one of the most important factors that you must take into account when preparing a crop , and it is that a soil of poor quality or that does not have the appropriate characteristics for each crop can destroy it. Thus, we must always ensure that the soil is perfect for each type of crop , and in this case I would like to focus on vegetables, which are usually the products that are most cultivated in orchards and greenhouses.
Among the characteristics that vegetable soil must have are that it must be deep, have a crumbly structure, be soft and fluffy, easy to work, have good drainage, have a good capacity to retain mineral nutrients or be very rich in mineral nutrients. Let’s go to see the most important in detail.
- Deep and soft soil
- Perfect for water
- The pH, very important
Deep and soft soil
The deeper the soil, the more room the roots will have to spread, allowing crops to grow larger. Make sure that the depth is wide and that there are no stones, rocks or other elements at a certain depth that can hinder growth. It should also be a soft, crumbly and airy soil, which you will achieve by providing organic matter and, if you can, river sand.
Perfect for water
With regards to water, there are several things to keep in mind. First of all, it has to have a good capacity to retain it , something that clay soils do very well since they store it and you don’t have to water as much.
In contrast, sandy soils are very dry and do not retain water well. You have to find a balance between one and the other. Good drainage is also essential so that the water can flow as it should and does not stay too long to rot the roots.
When it comes to nutrients, there are also several things that you should keep in mind, such as that clay soils are the best to retain them. In other types of soils, especially sandy ones, the water can carry away nitrogen, sulfur, potassium or iron, thus losing all its properties and the soil is not nourished correctly. Add manure, mulch, compost or peat so that it has more nutrients.
It is essential that it has mineral nutrients , specifically these 13: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, magnesium, iron, zinc, manganese, boron, copper, chlorine and molybdenum.
The pH, very important
The pH of the soil has to be between 5.5 and 8 , and if it is outside these values you should correct it. Luckily, 80% of soils have that pH, so you probably shouldn’t do anything to it, but you should check it to make sure it’s between those values.
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