Maine land, the soil quality of the dirt from the surface down is not all the same.
To someone not around the Maine land, it is easy to call it pretty much all the same. The soil profile on Maine land, important stuff to study before you buy acreage. Because the health of the dirt, the soil character better be a match to however you intend to use the Maine land.
Maine is 91% forested with a vast wood resource.
Clearing land for farming in Maine had to happen to open up the acreage.
To create farms for self sustaining agriculture to support the local families and their communities.
Our greatest natural resource to protect along with the waterfront land that surrounds it. Or that is in the watershed of the woodlots that drain from it. To protect the aquatic life in it and wildlife surrounding the Maine land. The natural balance is delicate and challenged when man for profit timbers Maine forested land without concern of erosion, drainage into the streams, brooks, rivers that dump into our lakes, ponds, the oceanfront of Maine.
The farm land soil in Maine comes in many varieties. Whether it is the Caribou loam of Aroostook County for potato, grain, broccoli, hops production or pasture land with rock outcroppings for beef and dairy animal grazing.
The PH of the soils requires testing for the sour or sweetness of the land in Maine.
If the soil test of land shows PH above 7, the soil is alkaline. If below 7 chemists deem it acidic. The right in the middle of the PH scale designation of 7 means the ground soil is neutral.
Plants can stand a pretty large range of PH in the land soil but not a big variation of ground acidity.
As the acid level of the soil change the metal ion solubility in it changes.
Healthy plant growth is affected by the fluctuation of metals in the Maine land soil instead of the acidity alone.
Maine land is not just for farming either.
In a tourism friendly and beautiful state like Maine, recreational trails to explore the land need to be built with sensitivity. To open up the Maine land for hiking, biking, skiing to access the natural beauty of Vacationland.
The best soils for say a Maine blueberry high bush grow is on land with higher acidity. The soil with lots of rock ledge poking up through a farm field and that lacks depth in the dirt to allow farm machinery for planting, cultivation and harvest maneuvers has to be used differently. With farming options limited to something other than tilling the soil for planting and maintaining row crops.
More on the soils of Maine land. You see lots and lots of different soils. I know a retired soil tester we worked with over the last 38 years in setting up septic system disposal leach fields for residential uses who had a business card with a slogan.
“Like people, soils are different”.
When you consider all dirt is not the same, it opens up the possible uses for it. To maximize the return from the bounty of the Maine land and to protect the landscape for generations ahead that will depend on it.
Underneath all is the land and maybe Abe Lincoln who coined the phrase knew a little something about farming the soil.
Because not so long ago, over ninety percent of us were farmers. Because no farmer, no food. And without food for long, nothing else matters to sustain life.
The land in Maine needs drainage, ground covers of vetch and red crimson clover. Planting cover crops and adding organic matter is one true, tried and tested traditional method for soil enrichment.
The vetch or clover crops are not grown to their maturity, but planted, plowed back under to till the soil before whatever is the seed crop planned for the season is added to the mix.
These crops improve soil drainage by breaking up the soil with their roots and by acting as “green manure” when they are plowed back in, turned under to enrich the dirt.
Beefing up soil with red crimson clover. Crimson clover, not the song by Tommy James and the Shondells is one ground cover in conversation mix.
Used when land in Maine is put in the soil bank or conservation resource program to give it a rest and receive a stipend per acreage to help offset the property tax burden.
The danger of crimson clover is the richness as it blooms and explodes in spring when animal used to hay go hog wild in the new rich ground cover. And if in spring you introduce the farm animals to pasture land used or grazing, bloating, even death can happen. What is in traditional conservation soil seed? Like green manure ground cover. Timothy, rye, millet, other grass seed mix providers in Maine.
Sandy soil on Maine land that drains too fast and leaves nothing for moisture is on extreme.
So is gravel that has good drainage but lots of water further down in the aquifer when the Maine land is part of a horseback or asker. Too rocky means broken equipment and down time. Or picking the new crop of rocks that comes up right on time every spring planting season.
No one wants to mistreat soil, and fertilizer to add horsepower, lime to sweeten it is not the only answer to enriching it. But knowledge and wisdom comes from education, trial and error and a strategy to improve the farm soil you inherit, you buy and ultimately pass on to the next grower.
Land in Maine for sale, want to own you own plot or acreage of Maine land?
I grew up on a potato and grain farm in Maine, my dad was head of the USDA soil and water conservation and I learned a lot growing up about farming the soil in Maine. Love to help you acquire your own Maine farm for hobbies or livelihood and it starts with knowing the dirt, study of the soil on the land listings.
Loafing and feeding pads for grazing for dairy, horses and beef cattle is one way to protect and increase the productivity of the land soil.
Keep animals from sheep, goats to buffalo, beef cattle or dairy herds from sinking and causing holes that are dangerous to cross. Draining the land or keeping the critters off the wet areas to avoid compaction of the soil means strategic fencing.
Low wet areas for grazing means tread lightly so Bessie does not sink down and cause holes in the soil to pool and fill with water.
How you use the land is important as all the effort put into improving the soil amendments and overall health of it. Plowing under ground covers for an increase in soil nutrients, and planting more than one crop to grow in harmony is smart farming. PVO is one example of nitrogen fixating best practices.
More on vetch, one of the trio that helps the soil value soar.
Also, the exchange of air and water in the soil is what aggregate stability is all about and why it is so important along with the PH levels of the Maine land. When land soils are too compact and clay like, they don’t drain well. These kind of farm fields are the last to plant, usually the end of the harvest to remove whatever is produced on the acreage.
The terrain of the soil, the lay of the land is key to maximizing farming too.
Too steep a slopes mean wash out of seed. And greater danger in working the land with tractors and belly bar or what is pulled behind them to work the dirt for cultivation. Contour row planting can help and so can conservation drainage ditches and piping tiles to drain the Maine land soils.
Predators of the two and four legged variety can attack the soil and space to plant some varieties here, some seed type there.
Smaller farm fields in Maine were ideal of two row equipment and for isolating blight, problems in the production cycle. But large farm operations have trouble turning around, using their GPS and six or more row equipment to do the back and forth in the small land acreage field.
ATV’er four wheeling and bring in a disease from the last feed to the next one. That makes access to farm land more of a problem for growers who have say $3500 an acre invested in those fields for money they want to get back and then some. To stay on the farm and make the dirt pay the bills. This farming has lots of delicate adjustments needed on the controls you do have some say in. And to adjust to those you don’t but always plan on as the what if, be ready.
Hobby farms and antique tractors, machinery attachments are ideal for smaller farm spread acreages because of this small profile fields to work with that match yesteryear needs.
Go big or stay small are the two farming operations in much of the country. For sustainable farming the agriculture has to match the monetization no matter what the weather or market to sell it conditions.
Wild flowers, anything that encourages the birds and the bees to help pollinate whatever is growing on the Maine land is another important element. Lots goes into making so so land in Maine prime. Or to know what is the best land application for whatever you do purchase and enjoy for Maine land.