Before the rains come, farmers are advised to plow their fields to get the best results from crops. The primary purpose of plowing is to turn over the upper layer of the soil to bring fresh nutrients higher up while removing or burying weeds and the remainder of previous crops. Through it seems like standard farm work that you can skip and head right into planting, there are many advantages of plowing before you plant.
The first one is that plowing enhances the water retention capacity of the soil. Water retention is soil is the water retained by soil after it turns through the soil pores and joins water bodies such as rivers and lakes. The pores in the soil are air spaces that exist within the soil particles.
Water retention is primarily dependent on the type of soil you are working with. The finer or softer the soil then the higher the chances of water molecules holding on to the soil particles. This is Cy clay soil gets sticky and muddy when wet. On the other hand, soils with a coarse structure such as sandy soil have low water retention capacity.
So how does plowing help? As mentioned before, plowing helps to remove weeds which are one of the main reasons why your soil is not retaining water as it should. During hot weather, weeds left on the surface dry up and create mulch. However, in cooler temperatures, they may take root and drain the soil of water and nutrients. Plowing ensures that weeds are removed and that the soils drastically improves in water retention capabilities.
The second advantage of plowing is that it improves air circulation in the soil. It is well known that plants cannot survive without air form the atmosphere and also from the soil. The air in the soil is necessary for different biological processes to take place. Plants take up air through their roots, taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide.
It is a necessary process especially for underwater plants such as rice. The air in the soil also helps in the microorganisms that’s break down organic matter to survive and reproduce. Plowing involves turning up the soil and breaking it apart where it is clamped together. This process increases spaces between soil particles that can be filled with air. Therefore, plowing improves the circulation of air in the soil.
The third advantage of plowing is that it is responsible for letting roots penetrate deeper into the soil after germination. One of the biggest problems that farmers face today is that the plant’s roots have not penetrated deep enough. When this happens, it means that the crops will have a weak structure and will not reach maturity especially if attacked by weeds. This often happens when the soil is not loose enough.
Because plowing is the literal breaking up and loosening of soil, it is effective in promoting deep penetration of roots in the soil. When the soil particles are separated, it gives room for roots to take place.