Gardening

What is direct seeding?

In well-known conservation agriculture a main technique called direct seeding is used. Conservation agriculture is one that does not use nitrogen or artificial fertilizers and works with minimal tillage so as not to damage the soil or lose it.

Direct seeding represents a considerable advance in crop production technology because it makes agriculture harmoniously related to nature. Do you want to know what it is and how it works?

Definition

Direct sowing is one that does not cause any type of damage to the soil, since it does not have any tillage and only leaves 30% of residues from the previous harvest in the soil. Therefore, direct seeding is not one that is done by sowing and cultivating in a single pass, with a team working the soil and a seeder.

Characteristics of direct seeding

In direct sowing, crop residues are distributed evenly and left on the ground to prevent erosion and serve as a contribution of organic matter. When working with the soil, no element is used to turn the soil and incorporate the crops.

A non-polluting desiccant herbicide is applied before sowing to avoid damage. A specialized seeder cuts the mulch and dried debris accumulated on the ground, depositing the seeds (and fertilizer) with minimal disturbance.

For direct seeding it is essential to carry out crop rotations. In this way, the soil will not be forced by those crops that require more nutrients and will be able to regenerate them when those less demanding are cultivated.

Direct sowing helps in controlling pests and diseases, as well as improving soil structure. By leaving the remains of other crops scattered on the ground, erosion is reduced by 90% and both biological activity and biodiversity increase.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of direct seeding?

Image – Wikimedia/ Maggilautaro

Direct sowing is a widely used technique, but before deciding on it and not on another it is important that you keep in mind that it has some pros and cons that you should know so that unforeseen events do not arise:

Advantage

  • Land improvement, both at a physical-chemical and biological level. Even when sowing the seeds, the impact on the soil is minimal.
  • Water can be saved in irrigation, because by sowing them directly in the ground the plants do not have to compete so much for this resource.
  • You contribute to taking care of the environment, especially if you use fertilizers and phytosanitary products of organic and/ or vegetable origin.
  • Almost any type of soil is used, choosing the right species for each of them.

Disadvantages

In direct seeding, it is essential to remove unwanted herbs, for example manually. Now, in order to prevent them from coming out (or many from coming out), before sowing anything you can place an anti-weed mesh on the ground, and make some holes where you are going to sow the seeds.

Now, another disadvantage, which by the way is also common in potted crops, is the proliferation of pests and diseases. These are advised to combat them with home remedies, or failing that with products suitable for organic farming.

How is direct sowing?

Direct sowing, although by its name we can already get an idea of ​​what it is like, the truth is that there are two different ways of doing it. They are as follows:

Broadcast seeding

It is a technique that consists of taking a handful of small seeds and throwing them in such a way that they are as well scattered as possible on the previously fertilized soil. Then they are covered with a little soil and, finally, it is watered.

Sowing online

To sow the seeds in lines or in rows, what is done is to dig a few trenches slightly deeper than the size of the seeds as well as the height that the plants will have once they reach adulthood.

There are two ways to do it:

  • A trickle: small seeds are taken and they are scattered around the row, dropping them inside. Afterwards, they are covered with soil without compacting it, and it is watered.
  • Hitting: holes are always made at the same distance in each row or line, and a maximum of three seeds are inserted in each one. Finally, they are covered without compacting the earth, and it is watered.

With this information you will know a little more about conservation techniques in agriculture.

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