Land is an important part of the earth that needs to be maintained by humans. This potentially damaged land needs to be maintained so that it can always benefit humans and living things around them.
Therefore, it is better if before land damage occurs, methods are used to prevent soil damage. Basically, the soil has the ability to repair itself from damage. However, in the advanced stages, the land still needs other efforts to help the process of soil improvement.
Soil damage is characterized by reduced soil fertility. To maintain the level of soil fertility, there are several efforts that can be done by humans, namely with certain processing techniques.
Efforts to maintain soil fertility can be done through mechanical methods, vegetative methods, and chemical methods as follows:
1. Mechanical Methods
The mechanical method is an effort made to maintain soil fertility by using certain processing techniques. These efforts are carried out in the following ways:
a. Sloping Land ( Terrcacering )
Sloping land clearing is also often referred to as terracing. Terracing is done with the aim to reduce the length of the slope and reduce the slope. Making terracing aims to reduce the level of erosion. Because, terracing can slow down the flow of water at the ground surface.
b. Contour Lines Parallel Processing ( countour tillage )
Method of processing parallel contour lines is done by making soil cavities parallel to the contours and forming igir – igir. This can draw surface runoff and increase the likelihood that water will seep into the ground. Generally, vegetation is planted with an intercropping system.
c. Making Pematang / Galudan
Bunds or ridges are made in ways such as making small embankments and lines parallel to contour lines. The dike that is made has a function to hold the water rate so that it can increase the possibility of water to seep into the ground.
d. Making Military Check
Checking the dam or small dam aims to stem the flow of surface water. The eroded material will be retained in the check trenches so that the soil layer is thickened and soil fertility will not be lost in the water.
2. Vegetative Method
Vegetative method is an effort made to maintain soil fertility by utilizing vegetative (plants). Vegetative method is very good as an effort to preserve soil fertility. Generally, the vegetative method uses methods, such as:
Reforestation is a method carried out by replanting land that has lost vegetation cover. Planting is done by planting large tree seeds that usually can grow easily.
b. Crop rotation ( Crop Rotation )
Plant rotation activities are carried out with the aim of maintaining soil fertility. The method of crop rotation is done by varying the type of plant at the time of the change of planting period. This is effectively done to prevent the loss of certain types of nutrients in the soil.
Reforestation is done by planting deforested land with perennials. Reforestation activities are not only effective in preventing erosion, other benefits can also be taken, such as timber.
d. Planting cover crops ( Buffering )
Cover crop planting is an effort made by planting land with perennials such as teak and pine. This planting aims to prevent the destruction of topsoil by water, enrich organic matter and inhibit the rate of erosion.
e. Striped Cropping
This marching planting activity is to plant perpendicular to the direction of flow or the direction of the wind. In sloping areas, the spacing is widened while in sloping areas, the plants are closed.
f. Parallel Planting Contour Lines ( Contour Strip Cropping )
Planting parallel to the contour line is done by planting the land in the direction of the contour line. This is done with the aim of increasing the likelihood of water seeping into the soil and inhibiting the rate of erosion.
3. Chemical Methods
Maintaining the level of soil fertility by chemical methods is done using chemicals so that it can improve soil structure. Some types of chemicals that are often used for preservation of this soil, for example: bitumen, crystalline and soil conditioner .
These three chemicals are considered effective in improving soil structure and strengthening soil aggregates. These chemicals also have a long-term effect because they are resistant to soil organisms.
Besides being able to strengthen the structure of the soil, soil conditioner can also be used to increase permeability and reduce erosion that occurs in the soil