Food was, is, and it will always be one of the most basic human needs. Because of that, farming, one of the oldest industries in the existence, has nothing to worry about its future and viability. Still, there is no denying that making a career turn and jumping on the farming bandwagon, demands some experience. Although that can’t be achieved over night, these few tips will at least help you to start thinking like a farmer.
The Question of Soil
Every great farmer should give enough attention to its soil, if he wants to grow anything worthwhile. Healthy soil is necessary prerequisite for healthy plants. So, in order to keep it that way, you should first take care that it is well drained, because well-drained soil oxygen is more able to reach root zone and promote optimal root health. Adding some compost will also help your cause tremendously. It will improve soil nitrogen, and help plants give more yields. If your soil is sandy, compost will also help it to hold more water, and bring earthworms and other living things that help roots grow strong. You should, of course, test your soil every now and then to determine its needs more precisely.
Watering the Plants
Providing your plants with enough water in order to make them thrive, will be your main farming duty once the seed is planted firmly into the soil. More so if you are living in the area where rainfalls are not a common thing. Now, vegetables will need different amounts of water depending on the stage of their life, the texture of the soil, and their very type, but there are some basic principles you can follow:
- During more dry periods, you should water the plants sown on the sandy soil or on the sticky clays every 10-14 days.
- Freshly sown seed and young vegetables need adequate amounts of water from the get-go. So, water the seed drill before sowing.
- Draught is less likely to hurt plants which are already established. Watering them two weeks before harvest is usually sufficient.
Watering method is up to you, but solutions that will cover more surfaces in less time, such as reliable sprayers pump (which can be used for protecting the plants too), are to be preferred. Just be sure to water thoroughly to the depth of 30cm.
Finally, plants should be protected from all treats, ranging from diseases to dangerous pests, but before doing anything, you should first learn how to look for them. Therefore, be sure to frequently inspect your plants for the signs of diseases, weeds, and insects.
- Diseases – Prevention is always better than cures choosing healthy plants and providing them with best possible conditions for growth will surely help you. Keeping the plants apart will also slow down or even prevent further spreading of some diseases.
- Weeds – Using mulch will not only help you to keep weeds at bay, but also to prevent the evaporation of moisture. Young weed should be detected and destroyed before it takes too much ground. Herbicides are another usual option.
- Various pests – While fences will keep rabbits out and netting should come in handy while dealing with birds, smaller invaders will demand chemical protection.
Now, you have all the basics to make your first steps as a farmer. Experience will surely come into play as the time goes by, but having a solid foundation is a great way to start. Now use all the things we mentioned above and show the world that farming is a profession that can be dealt with.