Greetings! Fall is a great time to prepare our garden plots and crop land for next year's production. Three main areas can be well managed now for future crops.
Residues: Any crop residue that we want to use to improve the organic matter levels and general tilth of the soil needs to be chopped into the smallest particle size possible and worked into the soil evenly to benefit good microbial activity.
Nutrients: Some essential nutrients break down and become available quite a bit slower than others. Along with the fact that they do not move very far in the soil, makes fall a good time to apply them. Phosphate, potassium, elemental sulfur, most micronutrients and humic acid fall into this nitch. For crop land, variable rate technology can be used to place these products on the marginal soils and areas where they can get a head start on helping out for spring.
Moisture: In short, the fuller you can get your soil profile before soil freeze up, the better start your gardens and crops will have in the spring.
Next time we will cover sending our lawns into the winter as healthy and prepared as possible. For now; happy harvest, and remember: You can go a lot more places in the mountain west on a snow machine than a UTV and more places on either one than in a boat! So think big and broad, and pray for snow (after Oct. 20 to make sure the spuds are in)!
-- Russ Rubert, September 2013