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Preparing Farms for Spring Seeding

With the cold and freezing winter giving way to a friendlier spring, the temperatures will warm up and there will no doubt be a lot of time spent outdoors. It is at this time that we will enjoy the warm sun while we make a check list of things to be done in the fields in preparation of the spring seeding when the time is right.

At the fields, there will be thin and bear areas, areas with weeds among many other unpleasant sights that will need our attention before the spring seeding period arrives. This document is a detailed guide on what you will be expected to do in the onset of spring in readiness of the spring seeding period.

Summary

The preparation of the spring seeding period can be summarised into four major stages namely;

  1. Basic maintenance and clean-up.
  2. Seed preparation stage.
  • Working on the soil.
  1. Creating a planting calendar.

Each of these stages has crucial activities that must be carried under them and therefore a farmer is advised to closely and keenly adhere to each and every stage while preparing for the spring seeding period.

  1. Basic maintenance and clean-up.
    This is the preliminary stage of preparation and it is advisable that it be done and completed about a month to the seeding or planting period. This stage entails the cleaning up of the fields and tools so as to ensure that everything is ready and set when the times for working the soils comes. At this stage the farmer is expected to do and get done with the following activities.
  • Clearing the drainage ditches by removing all the leaves and the debris that have gathered on the drainage over the winter. This is to ensure that there is adequate runoff for the water when the spring rains set in.
  • Fixing and repairing the farm gates, fences as well as seedbeds.
  • Clean your farm working tools and other tools and ensure that they are in good working condition in readiness for the spring seeding period. It is of great importance for the farm tools to be cleaned so as to avoid the possibility of accidentally spreading fungus or insect eggs around the farm.

 

  1. Seed preparation stage.

This stage is a must do for a farmer who deals with plants that won’t grow at all or won’t grow well when their seeds are put directly into the soil ion the farm. These farmers, dealing with such crops therefore need to grow seeds indoors in the weeks leading to the spring seeding period so as to be ready for transplant when the right time for planting comes.

To prepare his/her seeds indoors the farmer is expected to;

  • Choose a container to be used in planting and nurturing the seedlings before they are ready for transplanting. This container should be made of material that can be added into the compost when the time of transplanting comes. Because of these fact, paper cups, cups made from newspapers, egg trays, ice trays and also folded cardboard can be used for planting and nurturing the seedlings. Also, build a watertight tray to be used to hold the containers and allow them to soak in water.
  • The next thing is to put soil into the containers, the soil should be packed firmly and not compacted and they should be a quarter an inch below the top of the container. If a farmer is planting large seeds, then one seed per container will suffice but if the seeds are small then two or three seeds per container will do. The containers should be covered until the seedlings germinate.
  • Expose the containers to light, they can be placed in an area where they receive direct sunlight or under a fluorescent light. Temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees are sufficient for seeds to germinate. Water is also a very crucial element and the farmer should therefore remember to water the seedlings.

 

  • Working on the soil.

The soil need to be in the right state before the planting or seeding period comes. The farmer should therefore ensure that his/her soil is okay by;

  • Ensuring that the soil is dry enough. Coming from a cold and freezing winter, the earth can be wet majorly from the melting snow and if the farmer works on the land when it is wet, there will be the risk of compacting the soil thus making it extremely hard for the plants to grow.
  • Application of compost on the soil. Compost is rich in nutrients and therefore improve the soils health, provide nutrients for the plants and improves the overall drainage of the soil. Compost can be applied by applying one inch of compost on top of the soil or by incorporating and mixing a few inches of compost into the soil.
  • Application of mulch on top of the soil by applying organic matter like shredded leaves, hey among many other organic matters. Application of mulch on top of the spoil, protects the soil from losing its moisture and also provides a steady supply of nutrients to the soil as the mulch decomposes.
  1. Creating a planting calendar.

When the time for planting comes, a farmer is supposed to identify weather the crops to be planted are cool-season crops or warm-season crops. This identification helps a farmer to know the right time to plant the crops. The cool-season crops do well when they are planted in early spring. The warm-season crops on the other hand are planted after the cool-season crops after the farmer has ascertained that the crops will no longer be exposed to frost.

 

When transplanting the crops the farmer is also advised to do a hardening off procedure for the seedlings that were planted indoors to ensure that those seedlings are hardy enough to survive in the outdoor conditions.

 

 

    

 

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