If you have a farm, you can do your part for the planet by finding environmentally responsible ways to tend to your crops and handle other farming responsibilities. Doing your part to protect the environment as you farm can also help you grow healthier crops and protect the health of your livestock. Here are four great tips for protecting the environment while caring for your crops.
Avoid Using Dangerous Pesticides and Weed Killers
Certain commercial pesticides and weed killers contain harmful chemicals that can contaminate soil and ultimately end up doing more harm than good for your crops. Some of these products may also contain carcinogens that can increase cancer risks. It’s best to look for organic pesticides and weed killers that contain ingredients like vinegar, eucalyptus oil and cayenne pepper, or you can even try making your own.
Use All-Natural Fertilizers
Fertilizers that are made with all-natural ingredients can promote better crop growth. You can use a reliable organic commercial fertilizer that contains animal proteins such as blood meal and bone meal. Many of the best natural fertilizers are also formulated to release nutrients into the soil completely and consistently to ensure the best crop growth. Using an all-natural fertilizer will also not put your health at risk.
Rotate Crops Periodically
Rotating your crops can ensure sustainable soil and will help you reduce the amount of pesticides and fertilizer that you need. Dividing gardens and other areas around your farm where you grow crops into separate quadrants can make rotating each section easier. Each crop leaves certain residues in the soil that can be beneficial for other types of crops when rotated.
Water Crops at Night
Watering your crops at night instead of during the day can help you conserve water. When crops are watered at night, the cooler temperatures allow them to absorb water better and keep themselves moisturized longer. This enhanced water absorption is particularly beneficial for the lower leaves and other sensitive areas of plants that are more prone to drying out in hot temperatures. However, it’s important to not overly saturate crops to avoid fungal growth and attracting slugs that might eat away at your vegetation.
Maintaining the crops on your farm and helping the environment can go hand in hand if you employ the right methods. You’re sure to yield great results when you put in the additional effort to farm in the most environmentally responsible ways possible.
- Meghan Belnap is the author of this post.