Soil is important in a number of ways. They Include:
- It’s our life support system
- It provides anchorage for plant roots
- It holds water and nutrients
- It’s a home for various micro-organisms We build on soil.
Therefore soil plays a vital role in our environment. As without soil human life would be very difficult.
It’s therefore a resource that should be guarded with a lot of caution. This is why to keep this resource in good we should limit chances of various factors doing away with it.
- Soil erosion is the removal of the top soil from one place to another by means of water, wind, or animal activities.
- Eroded soils by water are deposited to other places by siltation.
- Silt is the deposited soil and is rich in humor such soil very fertile. It comprises of organic matter and can be recovered. Silty soil is slippery when wet, not grainy or rocky
This is the process of collecting eroded soil from its deposition back to the farm for farming.
Importance of soil recovery
- Soil conservation is key to environmental sustainability
- It helps protect natural resources and watersheds,
- restores habitats for plants and wildlife, Improves water quality, and makes soil healthier.
- Soil conservation also creates economic opportunity.
We should therefore look for eroded places and recover the soil and conserve our environment for the future.
- Runoff water is the water that runs on the ground at high speed and it removes the soil from its path leaving behind a gully.
- Soil eroded by runoff are deposited at the river banks, on the sides of the roads or in places where there are cover crops.
- Recovering soil is important to crops because it is very fertile, comprising of decomposed organic matter.
- Runoff water has the energy to detach soil particles by scour and to transport entrained soil materials either in suspension or by pushing or rolling larger particles.
Soil improvement is the addition of soil nutrients to poor and non-productive soils. This can be done by addict organic manure.
Methods of soil conservation
- These include fallowing,
- using compost, manure, crop residues,
- Using fertilizer trees (e.g Calliandra and Pygeum africana),
- intercropping legumes with cereals and including the principles of conservation agriculture (crop rotation, ensuring permanent cover for the soil and no disturbing of the top soil layer).
- Organic manure can be prepared by the use of organic materials such as plants materials, animal waste, food remains or kitchen wastes. This can be done by the method of hip compost or pit compost.
With hip compost, the organic materials are hipped on the ground and left to decompose for some time and then transported to the farm where planting takes place.
In the absence of compost pit or residue pit, we may use drum or wood pallet as compost bin.”
On the other hand, pit manure is prepared by digging underground and dumping all organic waste materials inside. These materials are left for sometimes to decompose then are used in the farm to improve soil.
Once the waste materials have decomposed fully we can plant a suitable crop in the waste pit.
- Dumping green and dry plant remains, food remains and kitchen wastes in a pit situated on a poor soil site is a god farming practice.
- This is because once the organic waste materials decay, they release nutrients that are required for the growth of pants.
- Therefore if an area has poor soil, it can be improved using organic manure, a crop can be grown successfully.
Importance of conserving soil
- The soil is literally the foundation of plant life. A tree will not be a tree without soil. While there are some plants that can live in water or air, most plants need to be rooted to the ground.
It is the soil that provides nutrition to this plant life. It is through this vegetation that nourishes the humankind and the animal kingdom. Plants are important resource of food and fuel and of wood and other by-products that make our other life functions possible.
- The soil additionally supports the animal kingdom. Our agriculture also relies on soil, for its location and for other functions to be derived from its existence. It will be almost impossible to support the animal and human life without land.
- The soil is necessary for water supply. This is the magic of nature. The land is also necessary to ensure the quality of water we derive from our earth. Soil and water coexist. So do we and soil co-exist? Taking good care of our soil equates to taking care of our water supply.
1.2 Water Conservation
Water conservation is the process of retain water in the soil for planting. Water conservation can be done through mulching, shading, and cores cropping.
- Is the process of soil water conservation by spreading dry leaves or planting on the ground surface where the crops are planted.
- The dry leaves are called mulch where they are used to conserve soil water/moisture.
Mulching prevents direct sunshine to the soil surface which lowers the rate or evaporation.
- This is done by constructing a shade structure and covering its top with dry leaves.
This is usually constructed on top of seedbeds to protect the seedling from the scotching sun and also to protect the soil from losing water through evaporation.
iii. Cover Cropping
- Cover cropping is the process of soil water conservation through planting short crops that spread wide on the ground.
- Plants used for cover cropping are bean plants, peas and green grams.
- Water just like soil, is an important resource in our environment for farming practices. We can use mulching, cover cropping and shading to conserve soil moisture.
- These farming practices reduce loss of water from the soil.
- Conserving water ensures that water in our farms is well used throughout the growing season
It is important to conserve water because it is an important resource for farming in our homes. Without water, the plants will not grow to produce food for us.
Importance of water conservation
- Without fresh water you will die in just a few days.
- Conserving water is important because it keeps water pure and clean while protecting the environment
- Water conservation reduces energy use and can even save your household money.