The much awaited rains are here. Unless you are from semi-arid areas like us here in Kajiado county lol. Just like with all other aspects of nature and especially with climate change, rain can be a blessing and a catastrophe at the same time. But this article will make sure that you make the most of the rain and while protecting your crops and soil from the heavy downpour.
Slow down the rain, protect the ground
Anything that protects the soil from the speed of the raindrop will decrease the damage it causes. You could introduce Organic mulch, cover crops, the canopy of the new crop and permanent vegetation are all as a means of slowing down the rain drop.
This provides a surface for the raindrop to hit before it hits the soils. This will absorb some of the raindrop’s energy and slow it down, reducing the impact especially on young crops.
Add cover crops to the system
Cover crops (such as sorghum, peanut etc. they provide a cushion and a root structure that can hold the soil in place.
Provide permanent vegetation in areas where gullies typically form to slow the movement of water as it travels down the hill.
Using foliar fertilizer
Did you a nitrogen based fertilizer on your crop just before the recent rains? Well sadly it is no longer there as nitrogen is readily leached by water from the soil and nitrogen uptake into the plant is inhibited under saturated soil conditions.
If soils stay wet for extended periods of time that inhibit the use of fertigation. Foliar applications of nitrogen are a great way to go.
Waterlogged Soils .
The best way to improve drainage in water logged soils is by raising beds. The longer the flooding, the greater the chances that roots start to shut down, due to the lack of oxygen in the soil that gets pushed out by the water.
Some signs of damage to look for: Flower, leaf, or fruit drop are all symptoms of waterlogging stress on plants.