Soil health is the foundation for producing anything on your land. Fertile soil provides essential nutrients to plants and is one of the number of properties we look at to determine the soil condition of agricultural land for sale in Florida. Soil texture is one of the things we cannot change so soil structure is where we start. While the texture of the soil can be difficult and practically impossible to alter, we can influence the structure and properties of the soil. But how can you improve what you already have?
Test What You Do Have
There are several ways to test your soil. You can test it manually by feeling for how it aerates, feels, and holds water. We recommend having the pH and soil type tested by your County Extension Office. Their process can also test for numerous contaminants such as lead, metal, and solvents. This is significant information to know before using the soil to grow food.
After getting the results back from your test, if you find that the pH is off, time will be necessary for adjusting your soil’s pH. After much time and retesting your soil, choose crops that will work with the soil you have as you begin the restoration process. For example, if you have acidic soil, you should consider adding lime.
Add Organic Matter
No matter what type of soil you have, increasing the amount of organic matter is one of the most important things you can do. Compost, animal manure, grass clippings, and cover crops are all great examples of organic matter to add. If you don’t know how much organic matter to add, at least three inches of organic matter over the soil’s surface is a great place to start.
Oftentimes, adding organic matter and giving it time will be enough to balance out the nutrient profile of your soil. But if your soil test shows great imbalances, you might consider adding nutrients for deficiencies. For example, soil that is deficient in potassium should be exposed to kelp or greensand.
Plant Cover Crops
Cover crops are a great way to improve soil aeration and texture. Feeding the soil with cover crops will also naturally increase the numbers of microorganisms and worms. You will have to do a little research to choose the best cover crop for the season. For example, you could use winter rye because it is a fall crop and plant buckwheat because it is sensitive to frost. Farmers often combine several cover crops to get the perks of each plant.
To find agricultural land for sale in Florida that meets the soil conditions you require, contact one of our SVN | Saunders Ralston Dantzler agents today. We are experts when it comes to Florida agricultural land for sale.