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The benefits of river silt and its use as fertilizer for the garden

The benefits of river silt and its use as fertilizer for the garden


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To feed cultivated plants, gardeners use both organic and mineral fertilizers. They contain nutritional components that stimulate plant growth and fruit setting. It will not be possible to collect a rich harvest without top dressing. The beneficial properties of river silt were appreciated by both farmers and owners of small summer cottages. Before using the fertilizer, it is worth knowing the rules for its use and the timing of application to the beds.

What sludge is made of

Bottom sludge is formed as a result of the work of some beneficial microorganisms, the function of which is to purify water in lakes and rivers from organic and animal residues by decomposing them. Most of all it is found in reservoirs with stagnant water. It is impossible to name the specific composition of sapropel, since it may differ even in different places of the same reservoir. Each type of silt contains a set of trace elements and organic substances that have a beneficial effect on the development and growth of cultivated plants.

The most useful type of organic fertilizer is considered, which has formed at the bottom of a reservoir with stagnant water, the least nutrient components are in the river silt.

Characteristics of different types of feeding:

  1. River silt. Since the water in the reservoir is in continuous movement, organic particles do not have the ability to accumulate and decompose, therefore only mineral sludge is taken from the bottom. In this form, it does not have a beneficial effect on crops, therefore, it is recommended to mix it with organic matter (manure or bird droppings) before use.
  2. Swamp silt. At the heart of the marsh variety are the remains of plants and moss, which over time compact and turn into peat. In addition to the main set of nutrients, it has an antiseptic effect on the soil. Thanks to him, pathogens in the soil are destroyed. Since the composition also contains acids hazardous to crops, the sludge is used no earlier than six months after it has been removed from the bottom and kept in a compost heap.
  3. Lake silt, or sapropel. The percentage of organic matter in lake silt is about 80%, so it is considered the most beneficial. It contains: nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, humic acids, natural growth stimulants, amino acids and trace elements such as boron, iron, manganese and molybdenum.

It is possible to distinguish mineral silt from sapropel by their appearance - after drying, the first crumbles into powder, the second becomes solid like a stone.

Useful properties of river and lake silt

Silt from a pond or lake is much more useful than the one that forms at the bottom of flowing water bodies, however, subject to the introduction of additional organic matter, the latter can also be used as plant nutrition.

The useful properties of sapropel are as follows:

  • the moisture content and air permeability of the soil increases;
  • a fertile layer is formed on clay, heavy and depleted soils;
  • the life processes of garden and vegetable garden soils are started;
  • nitrates and other harmful substances accumulated in the ground are neutralized;
  • the causative agents of dangerous diseases of cultivated plants are destroyed;
  • the survival rate of young plants improves after planting in a new place;
  • the growth of the root system of seedlings is stimulated;
  • the flowering period increases;
  • the development and growth of cultures is accelerated;
  • increases immunity to diseases and plant resistance to adverse weather conditions;
  • the concentration of vitamins and nutrients in fruits increases;
  • absolutely safe for crops even when the application rate is exceeded.

Sapropel is much healthier for crops than other organic fertilizers, and its only drawback is the difficulty of harvesting.

How to get it?

The most favorable time for the extraction of fertilizers is the dry summer period, when the reservoirs become shallow. It is necessary to wait until the liquid mass at the bottom dries slightly, and transfer it to the personal plot.

Expert opinion

Zarechny Maxim Valerievich

Agronomist with 12 years of experience. Our best summer cottage expert.

If the lake or pond is not shallow enough, use a scoop with small holes, it is important that it has a long handle (at least 3 meters).

It is forbidden to take sapropel from reservoirs located near industrial enterprises and sewers, as it contains a lot of harmful substances that will harm cultivated plants. If you cannot get fertilizer yourself, you can buy it at a garden store. It goes on sale in the form of powder, tablets and granules.

What are they used for?

Silt is used on depleted soils to improve the structure of the soil and make it looser, activate beneficial microorganisms living in the ground, and increase the air permeability of the soil. Also, after applying fertilizer, it is possible to saturate the land on the site with useful macro- and microelements, and increase the crop yield.

Can sludge be brought into the garden right away?

If the top dressing was purchased at a gardening store, it can be used immediately for its intended purpose, since it has undergone all the necessary processing and preparation. In the case of self-extraction of fertilizer, it must be prepared in advance in order to get rid of harmful components in its composition.

Processing and composting

Sapropel obtained with your own hands needs preparation. This is done as follows:

  1. The mass is distributed in a thin layer on the grating and left in this form for the entire winter period so that the silt will freeze through. With the onset of spring, the mass is crushed and added to the soil.
  2. Mineral sludge needs composting. A layer of top dressing is spread on the prepared site, a layer of manure is on top. It is necessary to form a pile with a height of about 1 meter, alternating layers. You can also add crop residues or slops. Periodically, the pile is poured with water and shoveled. After about six months, fertilizer can be applied to the soil.

If the gardener does not have manure, it is allowed to replace it with bird droppings, the composition will turn out to be more nutritious and saturated, which will need to be taken into account when applied to the soil.

Agricultural applications

You can apply the resulting fertilizer on your garden plot in different ways.

Soil preparation

Sapropel is considered ideal for improving sandy loam and sandy soils. When used on clay and heavy soils, it is necessary to add humus or peat to the fertilizing. Fertilizer is applied at the time of digging the land on the site - in spring or autumn. For sandy soils, no more than 10 kg per hundred square meters will be needed, for heavy soils they use half as much. First, the dressing is distributed over the entire surface of the site, and then dug up to a depth of 25 cm.

Preparing the beds

The fertilizer is also used in the preparation of planting beds. The amount of top dressing required depends on the type of crop. So for beets and potatoes you need 8 kg of fertilizer per hundred square meters, for cabbage and cucumbers - no more than 4 kg, and for tomatoes and bell peppers - 2 kg per hundred square meters.

It must be remembered that if not manure, but poultry droppings were added to the fertilizer, the amount of top dressing is halved so as not to burn the plants.

Planting seedlings

Fertilizer is used in the garden when planting seedlings of any fruit and berry crops. The soil selected from the pit is mixed with fertilizer at the rate of 1 to 3-4 and a small amount is poured back into the hole. They put a seedling and pour in the rest of the soil, on top you can lay a layer of top dressing 2 cm thick, it will function as mulch.


Watch the video: How to Fertilize Your Garden With Molasses (September 2022).