Soil Improvement

Soil Improvement

Soil improvement, soil adjustment, soil amendment… you can call it many things

Soil improvement is done by adding organic material to soil to improve the physical properties of soil. You can adjust your soil to improve its ability for water retention, permeability, water infiltration, drainage, aeration and structure etc.

Coco peat, compost, shredded hay or corn husk, rice husk, sawdust, wood chippings, activated charcoal, perlite, biochar, manure (e.g cow, poultry, rabbit) etc are some organic materials that you can add to the soil to adjust it

You might not always be fortunate to be in an area where you will easily access rich humus soil. In some parts of Lagos, you may be plagued with sandy soil and in some parts of Nigeria, it’s clay soil.

Here are some things you can do to improve your soil.

Clay soil can be adjusted with just a simple addition of sawdust. Sawdust will not only change the soil consistency, it would boost the nutrient in the soil.
However, sawdust needs time to break down or else it would feed off the nitrogen your plant needs to grow, if not allowed to break down properly.
Manure helps to speed up the breakdown of sawdust.

Compost can be replaced with Manure, or used along Manure

Sometime in May of 2018, I bought some plants and the soil they came it was so clayey it was always clogged. So I transplanted it into my own soil. Packed all the excess soil into a wheelbarrow and mixed it with an equal portion of sawdust. Then I bagged it and kept it for 3 months. With the addition of manure, you will not need to bag for as long as 3 months, the soil will be ready for use in half that time.

When I opened the bag, the sawdust has broken down well and worms are thriving in the soil – which by the way is a good sign-. When the sawdust is still fresh in the soil worms cannot thrive in it.

3 months after bagging a mix of soil and sawdust. If you zoom in you might sight an earthworm

For Sandy Soil

Sandy soils are often considered as soils with physical properties easy to define: weak structure or no structure, poor water retention properties, high permeability.

Sandy soil after it has been adjusted using adding compost

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