Preparing soil is the first step in agriculture. This aids the soil to be turned and slackened thereby allowing the roots to seep deep into it. One of the important aspects of soil preparation is the loosening of the soil. This soil loosening enables the microorganisms and earthworms to grow in the soil and hence thrive. This checks for soil enrichment with humus and several other essential nutrients.
Soil preparation, in turn, includes the following steps:
- Ploughing – also known as tilting, is the turning and loosening of soil which is carried out with the help of a plough, cultivators, and hoe. This allows roots to penetrate deep into the soil, securing the plant firmly. It also enables better aeration to the roots facilitating easy breathing. Also, this step ensures the removal of weeds and other wastes from the field. The growth of the plant is promoted as it raises the nutrient-rich soil to the top.
- Levelling – after ploughing, soil tends to become loose which increases the possibility of rains and strong winds to wash the topsoil away, hence soil needs to be leveled for a strong foundation. An iron plank or a heavy wooden plank is used as a leveler which also ensures uniform distribution of water during irrigation.
- Manuring – The fertility of soil can be increased with the addition of manure to the soil before seeds are sown. In order to properly incorporate manure into the soil, manuring is done before the ploughing step.