06 Dec Hemp's Deep Roots are a Natural Aerator
There are a number of benefits to growing Cannabis sativa L, also commonly referred to as hemp. Besides the nutritional and fiber components of the actual plant itself, simply growing hemp can offer farmers agricultural perks. One such benefit is that the deep roots of hemp plants are effective at aerating soil. This means that the roots create small holes throughout the soil and help to prevent the soil from becoming too compact. This is important because the holes and loose soil allow for water and nutrients to move freely throughout the soil and reach the roots. When soil is too thick and compact, air, water and nutrients are unable to circulate properly and as a result, nearby plants will be starved out and their health adversely affected.
Farmers will utilize this aerating benefit of hemp even if they don’t plan on growing the plant as a crop. They’ll plant and grow hemp during the periods in between when they’re growing their other crops, using it to help prepare and improve the quality of the soil so that the subsequent crop is more successful. When the next crop is planted, the soil will better encourage deeper root growth and improve water and nutrient infiltration.
Normally to aerate soil, farmers have to use spike or plug aerators, which poke holes into the ground and actually removes a core or plug of the soil. Aerating machines can be rented at garden supply and home improvement stores. The machine is pushed over the ground area that needs to be aerated and the unit sticks spikes into the soil. Hemp plants, however, act as natural aerators, so farmers don’t have to waste the time or money renting and using the plug or spike aerators. Plus, hemp plants don’t require any herbicides or fertilizers and only need very little water, so they’re easy and inexpensive to grow.