How to increase soil fertility without manure and mineral fertilizers?
More recently, gardeners, mainly, increased soil fertility only by the introduction of manure or humus. But today, manure, even in small quantities, is not always available to summer residents. The application of mineral fertilizers briefly increases the yield of cultivated crops, but in the long term, steadily reduces the overall natural soil fertility. What to do if soil fertility declines and manure is not available? EM preparations will help.
My experience with EM products
EM technology / biotechnology (biological reproduction of soil fertility through the use of Effective Microorganisms with the complete rejection of various types of chemicals) is one of the most promising agro-technologies of the 21st century.
In my summer cottage, I use the first in Russia polymicrobial preparation Baikal EM-1, created in 1998 by the Russian scientist P.A., to improve soil quality and fertility. Shablin. It began to apply drug solutions since 2012.
Of course, in the first year, I did not get significant results either in increasing yields or in a sharp decrease in diseases of vegetable and horticultural crops. But starting from the third year of transition to EM technology, clayey chernozem in the area became looser, a piece of sandy loam darkened. My plants became much less sick.
Currently, neither in the garden, nor in the garden I use any chemical fertilizers and pesticides from diseases and pests. And do not dig the soil on the bayonet of a shovel. I cultivate the soil exclusively with EM preparations, the main of which (for me) is Baikal EM-1.
Naturally, patience is needed. In one year, nothing will change dramatically. Yields will increase slightly, the taste of vegetables will slightly change, there will be fewer fungal diseases. A substantial and stable effect requires time, patience and diligence.
This technology will not work in a hurry, since even a one-time use of chemicals (weed or disease control) will violate the existing ecological balance of beneficial microorganisms in the soil. And you have to start all over again.
How to properly prepare a solution from Baikal EM-1 concentrate?
The Baikal EM-1 preparation is available in the form of a liquid concentrate in packs of various volumes. For summer cottage facilities, 40 ml packaging is convenient. Shelf life is 1 year at an average temperature without access to light. In the package, microorganisms are sleepy and unsuitable for use.
From the EM concentrate, a base solution is prepared, which is also called the EM preparation and is designated EM-1. In turn, working solutions of different concentrations are prepared from the base solution, in which EM organisms are in an active state.
Capacities for the preparation of solutions must be clean (but do not use detergents to wash them).
To prepare the base solution, it is pre-dissolved in 4 l of defended non-chlorinated water (temperature from + 20 ... + 25 ° C) EM-molasses (if any) or 4 tablespoons of honey. After the honey is completely dissolved (soak, periodically stirring, 1-3 days) pour 40 ml of Baikal EM-1 concentrate. If there is no honey, you can use jam (without berries and without bactericidal properties) or sugar.
Remember, raspberry jam kills EM organisms!
The nutrient solution and the concentrate of the drug are thoroughly mixed, poured into plastic (preferably dark) bottles with a capacity of 1-2 l so that not a drop of air remains under the neck. Bottles must be carefully closed and left in a warm, dark place for 5-7 days.
During this period, active fermentation takes place and gas bubbles are released. As they accumulate, the lid is slightly opened and gas is vented, making sure that air does not enter the bottle. If air gets in, mold can form, it does not affect the quality of the solution.
Attention! The smell of rot means the death of the solution.
After 7 days, the stock solution is ready. It has a yellowish color and a pleasant silo or kefir smell. The shelf life of the base drug is 6 months from the date of preparation. That is, the base solution can be prepared in advance and used for the preparation of working solutions for 6 months (spring-summer-autumn). Longer storage and use may not have an effect.
To prepare a working solution from the base concentration necessary, measure water (+ 20 ... + 25 ° C) in a container of sufficient volume, add sugar, jam, jam, honey, add the base solution (the amount of nutrient medium and base solution is 1: 1). Withstand with occasional stirring for several hours and use as directed (spraying, seed treatment, application to the soil).
Table I. Preparation of the working solution of the EM preparation from the base
|Solution concentration||Water, l|
|1:10||50 ml||100 ml||300 ml||500 ml (0.5 L)|
|1:100||5 ml||10 ml||30 ml||50 ml|
|1:250||2 ml||4 ml||12 ml||20 ml|
|1:500||1 ml||2 ml||6 ml||10 ml|
|1:1000||0.5 ml||1 ml||3 ml||5 ml|
Example: to prepare 1 l of a working solution at a concentration of 1: 100, 10 ml of molasses, sugar or jam without berries and 10 ml of a basic solution are added to the prepared water.
Calendar of use of working solution of EM-preparation
Soil and plant cultivation in open ground with EM preparations can be started at any time of the year except winter. To track their influence, you can first select a certain piece of the garden and begin an experiment with soil in the fall.
Autumn tillage with EM preparations
After the final harvest, the remains of tops, stalks of vegetable crops and weeds, the remaining grass mulch, manure, humus, compost, chicken droppings, fallen leaves are scattered around the vacant plot. In general, all available healthy organics. It will serve as food for EM organisms and, at the same time, during fermentation and decomposition, it will reduce the acidity of the soil.
All this is abundantly watered with a working solution of the drug of 2-3 liters per 1 m² of area. The working solution is prepared on the basis of 1 liter of non-chlorinated water (settled) 10-25 ml of the base solution (1: 100-250).
Sick waste is burned or sent to a special pit for long-term composting.
It is very important to perform this work in the warm period when the soil temperature is not lower than + 15 ° С. At low temperatures, EM organisms “fall asleep”.
In 2-3 weeks, EM organisms adapt to new conditions and begin to multiply intensively, literally eating pathological microflora. After 12-20 days, it is necessary to finely (5-7 cm) cultivate (sprinkle) the soil, mixing the topsoil with organic waste, destroying emerging and grown weeds. Once again, moderately pour the area with the same working solution.
The final tillage is carried out 10-12 days before persistent cold weather. The soil is again cultivated (sprinkled) or dug without a turnover of the formation to a depth of 5-10 cm. During the winter period, the plant residues rot, the soil is fluffy.
After the first treatment with a working solution of an EM preparation, green manure can be sown and, when finished, planted in the soil by 5-10 cm. During the winter, siderates will rot and increase the feed base of EM organisms, which will transfer them to humic compounds directly used by plants.
You can learn more about siderates in our special section.
Spring preparation of the soil for planting / sowing garden crops with EM preparations
With the onset of warm weather and warming up of the top 10 cm of the soil layer to + 10 ° С, watering with the working solution of the Baikal EM-1 preparation is carried out and the watering is mulched with soil (that is, the soil is raked after irrigation). For watering use a working solution in a concentration of 1: 100. The irrigation rate is 2-3 liters per m² of area.
Having received enhanced nutrition, weeds begin to actively gain green mass. After 2-3 weeks, the grown weeds are mowed (it is possible with a plane cutter or a hoe), after which they are immediately watered directly from above with a working solution in the same concentration (1: 100). Then carry out pre-planting cultivation (no deeper than 5-10 cm). A few days later (literally 2-4) carry out the sowing of seeds or planting seedlings.
If the site is prepared for seedlings of tomatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers, early potatoes and other crops, planting of which is carried out in late spring, the site is constantly cleared of weeds. To do this, provocative irrigation is carried out after 1-2 weeks with a working EM solution of the same concentration at the rate of 0.5-1 l / m² area followed by the destruction of sprouted weeds.
If the soil is heavily depleted in nutrients, then in the spring you can add humus or compost again at the rate of 0.5-10 kg / m², light cultivation mix with soil, pour on top with a working solution at the rate of 2-3 l / m² and after 2 weeks sow / plant vegetable or garden crops.
Before sowing or planting, seeds and seedlings are treated with working solutions of Baikal EM-1, according to the described technologies. For processing seeds, tubers, bulbs use a working solution in a concentration of 1: 1000.
Summer soil and plant care with EM products
A feature of EM technology is the constant replenishment of soil with organic matter and a solution of living EM organisms. In the first 3-5 years during the summer period, it is necessary to systematically combat weeds. After weeding, the weeds are left in place or thrown into the aisles and watered with a working EM solution at a concentration of 1:50 or 1: 100.
If there is no possibility of systematic weeding of plants from weeds, then, most importantly, do not let them bloom. It is necessary to cut off any weed inflorescences by any means before seeding.
If cultivated plants have grown so much that they are closed, their root system is large, the concentration of the solution is reduced to 1: 1000 so as not to burn the roots located in some plants close to the soil surface.
If a quick compost is ready by this time, it is added to the cut weeds in the aisles and planted in the soil. The treated soil is mulched with fine mulch.
That is, during the summer period, the soil is constantly replenished with live EM organisms. You can use additionally in the form of top dressing wood ash, infusions and decoctions of herbs, other biological preparations for both the soil and for treating plants from pests and diseases.
Plants during the growing season must be constantly (at least after 7-10 days) early in the morning or in the evening sprayed with a working EM solution at a concentration of 1: 1000. It is better to spray before rain, and during light summer rains, but at the same time increase the concentration of the working solution to 1: 100-1: 500.
With this technology of soil and plant cultivation, crop productivity increases from 30-40% to 2 times. The soil is enriched with humus, its ability to withstand the load of high yields increases. After harvesting, autumn tillage with EM preparations is repeated.
Dear readers! Today, a huge amount of biological preparations is used to increase soil fertility. In the article, I talked about my experience with the drug "Baikal EM-1." But he has analogues. We will be pleased if you share with your readers your experience of improving soil fertility.