Sod Land - Harvesting and Application
Both beginners and experienced gardeners, gardeners and indoor flower lovers are sure to come across a concept like turf land. A lot of people are literally guessing, representing a dogwood, often abundantly covered with grass, which can be used almost in this form. However, in fact, this is not entirely true. Sod land is often part of someone’s prepared substrates, which are sold in garden and flower shops and are intended for planting a variety of plants. But, as you know, the substrate can be either bought or prepared by yourself, and it is not yet known what will be better. So turf land can be acquired by paying decently, but you can cook it yourself by spending some time and effort.
- The benefits of turf land as part of a garden mix
- How to prepare turf soil yourself?
- How to use turf land?
- Sod land application
The benefits of turf land as part of a garden mix
What is the difference between garden mixes?
First, let's talk about the obvious differences between garden mixtures, because their composition is sometimes very different. Given the main ingredient of the garden mixture, you can understand - sour mixture or not. For example, if peat is present in the garden mixture and there are no deoxidizing agents such as dolomite flour, then it is likely that the soil will be acidic.
And if turf soil is present as a base, then this may indicate that the soil has a neutral reaction of the environment (but this is not 100%, so it is still advisable to check the acidity of the soil by analysis).
What is good turf land?
It is especially loved by flower growers, because it contains an abundance of nutrients, is rich in minerals, is considered light soil and moisture-permeable, although the values of the latter properties are rather average.
Quite often it is turf land that is the basis of many soil mixtures, and such mixtures are readily acquired by people who do not accept acid and the "uselessness" of peat.
The amount of sod land in the composition of the soil mixture
Typically, the amount of sod land in the composition of the soil mixture can vary greatly and vary from a third to half of the entire mixture. However, do not forget that in the turf mixture, despite its nutritional value, there may be quite a bit of nitrogen, as a result, additional introductions of this element will be required.
If we talk about the acidity of turf land on average, turf land is usually (but not always) close to compost soil in this indicator, because turf often forms from the same “substances” as compost only over a longer period of time.
How to prepare turf soil yourself?
Cutting the soil into pieces and collecting them is easiest in any deciduous forest. There turf is formed most quickly. But it’s not “under every tree” that you can collect turf land, it is better to use the soil of linden alleys, the soil from under maple and various fruit plants.
As for such crops as, for example, willow or oak, it is better not to take sod there. The thing is that the turf, for the most part formed from the leaf mass of these plants, and therefore the turf soil, which you later get from the turf, is literally saturated with tannins, which always act the same way - they inhibit the growth and development of any plant caught in such soil.
Sometimes you don’t need to go far to collect turf to obtain turf land - the nearest forest or even a park area, here are a couple of suitable places to collect such land. Why? Yes, because, in fact, turf land is a layer of turf with a thickness of a couple of centimeters to five, depending on how long the trees have been growing at this place, whether it is artificial planting or a forest.
This layer is literally penetrated by small branches, dried leaf blades, blades of grass and the remnants of their parts. At its core, it is the basis for preparing soddy soil, suitable for growing a wide variety of crops and ideal for growing flower crops.
Types of Sod Soil
There may be several types of soddy soil, depending on the place where the sod was taken to obtain it. Basically, the mechanical composition of the soil in this area plays a role here. For example, you can prepare light turf soil, it will consist of clay and dust particles in a volume of about 30%, the rest, as we said above, is almost ready humus from twigs and other things.
The second option is a heavy soddy soil, in it the amount of clay and dust particles can reach 60 and even more percent.
Sod Land Harvesting Time
Of course, this is not winter, not early spring or late autumn, the best option is May, that is, late spring or the end of summer, that is, the month of August. Harvest soddy soil from sod, that is, literally cut the soil into squares up to five centimeters thick (in rare cases, take more), up to 15 centimeters wide and up to twenty centimeters long.
After the chopped pieces of sod are brought to their final destination, they are stacked in piles, preferably in a place where the sun looks, but not more than a couple of hours a day. Further, these turfs, so that they turn into a full-fledged turf land, must undergo a kind of "maturing", and this requires specific conditions.
For example, take the turf brought from the forest. It can be stacked in a stack of absolutely any length and width, but it is better not to do this stack in height more than one and a half meters. Stacking sods in stacks is best dealt with closer to autumn or at its very beginning, therefore, spring harvesting is less appropriate, it is better to focus on autumn harvesting.
What to do after harvesting?
After harvesting and stacking the turf in stacks, it is necessary to moisten it with slurry, usually a square meter of turf half a meter high needs a bucket of slurry. It should saturate the turf, which is necessary to start and activate the processes of fermentation and accelerate the preparation of turf land.
The second option for the preparation of turf land
Its essence consists in a peculiar laying of turfs. They must also be stacked in rows in stacks, but so that the parts covered with grass, those that looked up, are directed inwards, that is, the grass in stacks is turned towards the grass.
And between these layers of grass it is necessary to accelerate all the processes of decomposition of turf and increase its nutritional value, including enrichment of the nitrogen component, to lay cow or horse manure with a layer of 11-12 cm every 30-40 cm (in height) and so on meter or a half - maximum. If you managed to prepare the turf, but it is acidic, then when laying manure can be mixed with lime, it needs only 40 g per square meter of turf.
What are the stack sizes?
The most different, most importantly, no more than one and a half meters in height, because above - it is banal inconvenient to work. As for the width, it is optimally up to 110 centimeters, and the length is up to two meters. In large stacks, in addition to the inconvenience of their maintenance, air exchange is usually much worse, and the decomposition of turf itself is greatly slowed down.
What to do in winter with a stack?
It’s best not to touch it at all, leave it as it is, don’t cover it, just wait for the onset of heat, and as soon as the air warms up to 5-8 degrees above zero, moisten with mullein solution (3 kg per bucket of water, this is per square meter of stack).
During the summer, warm period, among other things, the stack must be mixed several times (two or three times). It is best and most convenient to use ordinary garden pitchforks for this. Stirring the stack will accelerate the process of converting turf into a full-fledged turf land and will allow more even distribution of “recharge” over the entire mass of future turf land.
If the weather is deprived of natural moisture during the summer period, that is, there is no rain for a long time, then it is imperative to moisten the pile with plain water from a hose, trying to water it so that it is completely wet.
In some cases, two seasons are enough - that is, the first season - stacking in spring or autumn, the second season is tedding it and by the end of the warm second season the turf land is ready. But sometimes, if the turf has not clearly decomposed, then it is necessary to repeat all the procedures for one more season, and already at the end of its turf land can be safely used.
If the turf land needs a little
It is worth noting that if you need soddy earth in modest sizes, for example, to update the top layer in a flower pot a couple of centimeters thick, then you can not cook it in such a long way.
To obtain a small amount of turf soil, it is permissible to cut off a layer of turf, spread a plastic film and, holding the turf by the grass, shake the soil from a piece of turf onto the film.
Quite a lot of soil is obtained this way when cutting turf in meadows, however, if you notice that sedge or horsetail grows in this place, then be sure that the land is acidic, but if legumes grow, then it will be quite suitable for use .
How to use turf land?
What to do with turfy ground before use?
Before use, the soddy ground must be passed through a fine mesh, having built something like a roar familiar to all gardeners and gardeners. At the same time, all large fractions, as well as those parts that have not decomposed, will slide down the screen, and the smallest parts will pass through it, forming a uniform bulk mixture.
After that, the turf soil can be folded into wooden crates or plastic bags (as from sugar) and must be removed in a place inaccessible to sunlight. It is better to keep the bags lying on their sides so that the mixture does not compress.
On the site, that is, literally "under the open sky", the turf land ready for use should not be left. Under the influence of rain, sun and wind, as well as changes in day and night temperatures, turf land will lose some of its nutritional properties, become less porous, less elastic and naturally less suitable for further use as a component in the preparation of nutrient soil.
Preparation of the resulting turf land immediately before use
Usually turf land is not used in its pure form. True, if you have the opportunity to do a chemical analysis of the soil in the laboratory, and the data will show that there are enough major components in the soil you brought in, then, in principle, such soil can be used without additional enrichment.
As a rule, various kinds of “impurities” are added to soddy land - often these are complex fertilizers, say nitroammophosk, 10-15 g is enough for a bucket of soddy ground. You can make wood ash, it contains up to 5% potassium, it needs 500 grams per bucket of turf land.
The application should be accompanied by thorough mixing until a homogeneous composition. Sometimes, to increase the amount of turf land and some loosening it, river sand is added in the amount of one part of sand to three parts of turf land.
Further, we strongly recommend that the turf land be decontaminated, because it can, in fact, be anything, and the fact that it lay in the form of layers in the cold for one or two winters does not fully guarantee the destruction of the ovipositor of pests or disease spores.
By the way, the procedure for disinfecting turf land should be carried out initially, before mixing it with fertilizers or river sand. The best option is to pour boiling water over it. To do this, you need the largest colander, in which you should pour turf soil and pour boiling water from the kettle. Of course, in this way you can destroy the beneficial microflora, but in this case the risk is justified and necessary.
Sod land application
Sod land is usually used for growing a variety of indoor plants and seedlings, for the forcing of green crops or growing vegetables in winter for the sake of harvesting “out of season”.
The main thing is to use the turfy soil correctly, often loosen the top layer, water it, fertilize it if this or that plant needs it, and when laying in the container, it is imperative to initially lay the drainage layer there, the role of which can be expanded clay, broken brick, pebbles or other small ones pebbles.