Experienced gardeners are seriously concerned about the fertility of the soil in their plots and want to know what they should or should not do. Previously, it was thought that all manipulation of the soil had to stop after the Feast of Intercession (November) - a warning that was well-founded. Disturbed soil, excavated for a period of time, disturbs the system of water and air passages, and freezing (frost) can make it vulnerable to wind and water erosion. The hillside is therefore a high-risk area. You will learn more about What Winter Soil Conditions do You Need to Know by Bubgo article.
Soil Freezing in Winter
Gardeners often rejoice when the soil freezes, thinking that pests will die off and won't bother them next season. This is true, but beneficial insects die too, so this does not solve the problem.
Most soils freeze during the cold season.
1. Soil moisture is converted into ice.
2. The ground hardens (gets gelled) and takes on an overall character.
The rate, depth, and duration of soil frosting depend directly on the air temperature, the thickness of the snow cover, and the degree of soil moisture. The topography of the site also affects this process. On average, soil freezes to a depth of 8-16 inches (20-40 cm) in normal snowy weather, and 80-100 inches (200-250 cm) near the north. The duration of the seasonal freeze period varies from 1-2 months to 6-8 months, respectively.
What You Need to Know About Soil Freezing
1. This process is natural and only hurts the soil when its structure is disturbed.
2. Deep freezing of the soil with no or little or no snow cover has a bad effect on the cultivated plants that overwinter at this time.
3. The freezing of the soil stops all microbiological processes, but physical processes can occur and must be taken into account.
4. Freezing and thawing processes can be accelerated and slowed down.
How to Prepare The Soil for Wintering
1. Do not disturb the soil cover in anticipation of a permanent frost. Excavation, fertilization, and on-site waste collection in the fall must be done before frost.
2. Do not leave the soil open (without mulch and vegetation). The best option is to sow green manure (e.g. mustard) after harvesting the main crop.
3. If there is little snow, you need to try to keep it on the surface of the soil (more on snow accumulation).
4. Pay attention to drainage. Drainage ditches must be cleaned or organized to drain excess water.
5. Resume work on the soil only after it has completely thawed and there is no risk of it freezing again. Make sure that the soil is really completely thawed, otherwise any work will damage its structure.
Thawing Soil After Winter
It is best to thaw the soil in spring in the same order as the soil freezes. This can be hindered by the uneven distribution of heat on the surface due to the unevenness of the surface and the different angles to the heat source. The soil surface may also absorb less heat due to light reflection. Moisture that accumulates on the surface can prevent heat from penetrating deeper into the soil.
By correcting these points in spring, it is recommended that you can prepare for spring in advance.
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