One of the objectives of organic farming is to produce high quality food that is free of contaminants, in addition to using environmentally friendly techniques. These techniques aim to maximize crop growth and improve agricultural productivity.
What are organic farming cultivation techniques and what do they look for?
As we said, organic farming techniques seek to maximize the growth and productivity of crops , but through natural processes , without using fertilizers and chemical products. These natural processes can be better management of crops, improvements in water conservation, prevention and control of pests and diseases, control of plants or herbs that may be detrimental to the growth of crops, association of crops, use of broths or natural slurry or padding. Other important processes are the management of crop varieties that adapt to local conditions and the spatial and temporal diversification of crops.
Some of the most used organic farming techniques are those that we detail below.
This technique is also called mulching and it is very effective in conserving soil moisture . The mulching technique is based on the use of natural substances to create a layer on the ground that retains moisture. An additional benefit is that the materials used can be used as organic matter by plants.
To carry out this technique, we must choose the material that we are going to use well and do not apply an excessively thick layer on the ground, since it can lead to the loss of oxygenation and, therefore, of roots. For example, this use is one of the benefits of pine bark for the garden or orchard.
Organic or natural fertilizers
These fertilizers are based on taking advantage of the nutrients arising from the decomposition of crops, such as legumes, grasses or crucifers. We can also make a homemade compost in large compost bins with the vegetable waste (only vegetable) from the home, which after its decomposition at high temperatures inside the container, we can apply to the soil. Among the benefits of the technique of using organic fertilizers are:
- Increased nitrogen levels in the soil.
- Stimulation of the growth and activity of beneficial microorganisms in the soil.
- They provide a balance for the C / N (carbon / nitrogen) ratio of the soil. This balance is very important for the fertility of a soil, so it should not be too unbalanced.
- Improve the structure and porosity of the soil, which increases its humidity.
- Protect the soil surface from erosion.
The technique of soil tillage in organic farming
Although many people say that the soil should not be tilled, in very compacted soils it is necessary to cultivate the land in a superficial way . It should be mentioned that a soil with a good content of organic matter tends to compact less and has less need for tillage.
For example, with the installation of a deep terrace , it will be less necessary to till the land, since it maintains a good organic content and does not become caked, as it does not step on the earth.
This technique consists of establishing a balance between the different crops . For example, a crop with a lot of nitrogen needs complements well with another crop that doesn’t need a lot of nitrogen to grow.
To carry out a good crop rotation , we can follow the following tips:
- Avoid cultivating plants of the same family successively and, thus, not cultivating followed crops of the same characteristics.
- Cultivate, at least every two years, a legume that fixes nitrogen.
- Alternate crops with higher nutritional demands with another with lower demands.
Crop associations for organic farming
This technique is a concept similar to that of crop rotation. It is about choosing plants that adapt well to each other , but to grow at the same time, choosing plants with very different nutritional requirements and also avoiding crops of the same type, that is, avoiding growing plants that are rather roots and roots at the same time. or leaves and leaves, avoiding the same types. Instead, we can plant fruits with leaves or roots with leaves. The benefits of crop associations are:
- Reduction of the risk of pests and diseases. In case you run into this problem
- Decreased weed growth.
- Mutual benefit between crops.
- Increase in the vitality of the crop and its production of fruits.
There are some useful tables that tell us how to establish good associations and crop rotations. For example, the tomato is a plant that complements very well with other crops, except with cucumber or pepper.