Cultural Practices

Before the actual planting process, there are pre-planting operations, such as land clearing, stumping, and farm layout. Land clearing involves removing existing vegetation using tools like cutlasses, hoes, or machinery like bulldozers. Stumping, on the other hand, is the manual or mechanical removal of leftover tree stumps on the farm. Farm layout involves dividing the […]

Before the actual planting process, there are pre-planting operations, such as land clearing, stumping, and farm layout. Land clearing involves removing existing vegetation using tools like cutlasses, hoes, or machinery like bulldozers. Stumping, on the other hand, is the manual or mechanical removal of leftover tree stumps on the farm. Farm layout involves dividing the land into sections for optimal productivity.

 

Another crucial step is land preparation, where the soil is conditioned to meet the needs of the crops. This includes tillage, bed-making, heap-making, ridge-making, and leveling the soil after stumping. Tillage, whether done manually with a hoe or mechanically with a tractor-driven plough, breaks or turns the soil. Ploughing, considered primary tillage, forms clods of soil, while secondary tillage (harrowing) breaks down these clods into fine particles, ready for ridging. Other implements like spring tine cultivators and mould board ploughs are also used in tillage.

 

The importance of tillage lies in its ability to loosen the soil, allowing air and water to reach plant roots, facilitating root penetration, bringing plant nutrients within reach, exposing pests to the sun for control, and ensuring proper mixing of manure and fertilizer with the soil.

 

Ridging is the creation of ridges on the farm, sometimes in the form of heaps, to prevent erosion on slopes. Ridges also serve to provide water for plant use, support root penetration, and aid in the establishment of crops.

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