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NIOS Silver Jubilee Year

Soil Improvement

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Rural Technology

We have already learned characteristics of an ideal soil but we could not find such soil all the time. There are many types of problem soils and we have to improve those soils. Problem soils: The soils with acidic or basic reaction, soils with poor drainage, soil with low water holding capacity, salt affected soils, and soils with pathogen are known as problem soils. Such soils have bad effect on crop growth and plants show deficiencies of different nutrients.
Steps for improvement of problem soils:
1. Bunding and leveling: The soil should be leveled properly and provided with strong bunds along with field boundary.
2. Provision of irrigation water: Sufficient salt free water should be made available.
3. Drainage: Provision of adequate drainage is essential. Proper surface and subsurface drainage is important factor in soil improvement.
4. Application of amendments: Gypsum is the standard amendment for alkaline soils. For acid soils calcium carbonate is applied as amendment.
5. Leaching: Leaching means removal of soluble salts from the root zone.
6. Cropping: Grow the crops which tolerate particular problem soil. For example salt tolerant crops like sugarcane, barley, and oats. 7. Addition of organic manure: Addition of organic manure in sufficient amount will provide drainage in heavy soils and improves water holding capacity of poor soils.

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