Soil conservation is the prevention of soil eroding from the earth's surface, or otherwise becoming altered by overuse, acidification or contamination.
So how do we begin? Well, here are 10 ways to conserve soil:
1. Gardening. Grow plants that are indigenous to your area. It can be interesting to make something grow outside of its usual domain, but the local flora have been there for a very long time and aid in conservation. Another thing to do is to plant trees and shrubs. These can provide shelter for your soil, while the roots will help to prevent excess water from washing it away.
2. Keep your soil moist, but do not drown it. This can be especially difficult during dry months. But over-watering can not only wash away soil, but cause it to degrade. Should your soil dry up, though, it should be easy to fix by lightly covering with damp piles of mulch.
3. Of all the 10 ways to conserve soil, this may be one of the more enjoyable. It may be tricky at times, but keeping enough vegetation strong, healthy and growing will bind the soil together and protect its surface.
4.Find a suitable tillage method for your location, amount of rainfall and variety of plant life. Tillage will optimize the biological and physical condition of soil. Make sure that you use a method that does not make the soil overly fine.
5. Physical structures made of earth, stone or other organic materials can aid in protecting soil against uncontrolled runoff and erosion. With a little bit of design, it can also retain and direct water to where it is needed most. The best structure will depend on climate and the need to either discharge or retain runoff; the size of your garden or farm; and the texture and depth of your soil.
6. Another good piece of construction is a wind barrier. Built at the boundaries of a farm, this will help stop the wind from blowing soil away.
7. Plant patches of high grass. Allowing your grass to grow to at least three inches will promote retention of water in the soil. This is especially useful for runoff of your physical structures.
8. Create an organic mulch for your plants. This will maintain soil temperature and minimize erosion.
9. Plant vegetation that will assist in the protection of your soil, like rye or clover. They will protect by thickly covering the ground and they will restrict weed growth and reduce runoff.
10. The best time of day to water your plants is early in the morning, when evaporation is low. Watering in harsh sunlight can dry out your soil. In the late evening, watering can cause the growth of fungus.
By trying out these 10 ways to conserve soil, not only can you plant a beautiful garden, but you can also help protect the planet.