Why bed (or ridge) forming should be performed

Monday, 16 December 2019

Why bed (or ridge) forming should be performed

How to exploit at best the productivity of one’s land to upgrade the harvest

Those operating in the farming sector are well aware that every terrain has different properties which can make it more or less suitable for a particular kind of crop. However, there are a series of operations that can optimise the harvest and make the different stages simpler and less tiring. Today we would like to talk about, for example, the benefits obtained from bed ( or ridge) forming, a technique that can bring numerous advantages in various situations and agricultural contexts.

But what is ridge shaping all about? This activity consists in gathering the soil from the sides, channeling it towards the center, so as to create a pile of raised soil with a trapezoidal contour.

As can be imagined, the operation is useful in creating a functional seed bed with remarkable benefits also to the drainage of the portion of land on which it is performed.

Before the ridge forming: assess the season, the needs of the soil and your crops

Before carrying out any kind of operation on the soil, you need to ensure that this can produce real benefits. Often in fact, hurried decisions are made, that do not take into account the seasonality, and characteristics and properties of the soil one intends to cultivate. With the imminent start of winter, for example, it would be fundamental to make assessments regarding the climatic conditions typical of this period. Rains and frost surely condition the preparation of the land for the sowing of products like asparagus and leafy vegetables, and  transplantation of other types of vegetables.

Bed forming: a “must” for those engaging in agriculture

We have already seen how this operation can have a positive impact on the seed bed and prevent water stagnation. In reality, designing a “raised garden” can ensure the achievement of a broad number of benefits that regard different aspects. Therefore, let us discover some of the main benefits of bed forming.

1. Less diseases for a more productive harvest

Control of water drainage allows only a minor risk of disease for the plants growing on the raised ridge. Thanks to the convex shape, this is possible since one can create a free zone for the roots of our plants and for those that are defined radical capillaries, and also the right balance between water and the oxygen content of the soil. Due also to the correct dose of water and fertilizers furthermore, the ridge of soil can benefit from optimal chemical-physical and microbiological conditions, useful in improving the fertility of our plantation.

Such optimization, in particular, leads to a tangible increase in production and the quantity of leaves developed by the cultivated plant, besides their weight, since bed forming:

  • Improves exposure to sun rays
  • Favours the rise of soil temperature, with a consequent vegetative revival
  • Reduces the constipation of the soil
  • Controls water stagnation

There are, moreover, some benefits from the raised cultivation bed for the radical structure of the plants. This operation in fact:

  • Eliminates the risks of water stagnation, radical choking
  • Creates the correct balance between water and oxygen content of the soil
  • Reduces the factors that encourage attacks from toxic organisms
  • Improves exposure to sun rays
  • Favours the rise of soil temperature for vegetable revival
  • Allows the optimisation of the dosage of water, nutritional elements, disinfectants and disinfestants
  • Enables  the balances to be maintained in the rhizosphere, a biologically active portion of soil in proximity with the roots
  • Enables the reduction of the choking of the soil

2. Greater ease in harvesting operations

Raising the soil with the  bed forming procedure, however not only produces benefits for the plant and its productivity, but is able to ease and make the related harvesting phases easier. Those who perform this type of operation, in fact shall have the means to gather the fruits or vegetables that are found above the ridge with less effort, since they will be raised.

3. Safeguarding the environment and your land

Convex ridge shaping does not have only positive effects at production levels, but also means making a green option and safeguarding our surrounding environment, as likewise, our land. The creation of a raised grid of soil for example, enables:

  • Prevention of the wasting of water (thanks also to the localised drip irrigation method)
  • The reduction of the level of pollution of farming operations, thanks to the optimisation of absorption and assimilation of the products used

4. More quality at lower costs

We have often been led to believe that performing soil processing of this kind could lead to an increase of  corporate costs. In reality, despite increasing initial costs, using the ridge forming machine  allows a higher level of the quality of the crops to be obtained, with a savings connected to the resources and labor time. The use of machinery, in fact, allows the processing to be performed in an extremely shorter and faster time.

5. Top results: combine the bedformers with mulch layers

If you want to obtain the maximum from your land, we would advise you to combine the use of the bedformers with mulch layers. By covering the land with a plastic film or other types of material (according to needs), but leaving room to the same plant for its natural growth, one can maintain a correct level of humidity in the upper part of the soil. It takes only one operation therefore, to shape the ridge, lay one or more irrigation drippers or tubing, fertilise and weed, and lay the film over the soil.

With the combination of these operations, therefore, you will be able to:

  • Have greater control of the soil temperature
  • Protect the cultivated plot from pathogenic agents, insects and infesting weeds
  • Perform several procedures in one operation

Do you want a consultation on the more suitable ridge formers? Ask Cosmeco

If you want to discover more on the bedformers and machinery that best suit your needs, you can rely on the Cosmeco team. Visit our contacts section, you will receive all the answers you need.

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