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Soil Management Tips

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Soil evaluation gives levels of the following soil properties

Soil pH stands for, organic matter, nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and sand, silt and clay.

These are used to forecast soil management requirements

-pH: gives the levels of soil acidity. Currently, our soil is acidic requiring amelioration – using agricultural lime to pH6. Best material to use is dolomite, at a rate of 1-2 tonnes per acre or about 1/3 kg around each plant or a cup in a planting hole. Wood ash, or calcite may also be used. Application at least one month before planting, incorporated in soil using a forked hoe.

-OM – Organic Matter- also very low in our soil should be at least 3%- coffee husks, composts, crop residue, livestock manure- used at the rate of 5-10 tones per hectare- or 1-2 basins in a planting hole.

-N- nitrogen –also highly deficient in our soil – should be at least 0.2%- vital for vegetative growth. It is lost from soil through rain and high temperatures. Highly required at vegetative stage. At planting only 20-50g/hole but at vegetative stage – about 200-300g/hole. This can be got from NPK fertilisers and home processed manure.

-P- phosphorous – highly deficient in our soil due to high soil acidity, high temperature, global warming, also low organic matter. Highly required at planting stage, around 200-300g/hole. It promotes root growth.

-K-potassium. It is also becoming deficient as it is easily lost through rain and harvests. Required very much at fruiting stage to cater for quality of produce i.e cup taste or sieve size of coffee of fruits. Up to 300g around each plant for perennial crops. Get Potassium fertilizers from recommended agri-inputs stores.

-Ca and Mg – Calcium and magnesium – are also liming materials. Provided when putting the pH right. These can also be got from agri-input stores

-Sand, silt and clay: also influence plant growth regulate air and water spaces in soil – required for soil air, soil water and consequently root proliferation. Importantly – soil must breathe for life processes. Organic matter and soil tillage moderate the function of sand, silt and clay.

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