Knocking a floor

Extinguishing is a natural phenomenon that is observed more particularly in predominantly silty soils with little clay.

If your ground wasn’t covered during this particularly dry and hot summer, but you’ve had a few thunderstorms, you may have experienced it.

But before we see how to avoid this phenomenon, let’s start by defining what the battance is.

What is hitting?


We call sleeping the splitting of aggregates, on the surface of the soil, under the mechanical action of raindrops.

As we mentioned in the introduction, crusting mainly affects loamy soils (read My Natural Vegetable Garden to determine the texture of your soil).

These sludge particles split into a multitude of smaller particles.

Particles that then clump together…

This will lead to the formation of a hard, compact, impermeable crust called “slaking crust”.

What are the consequences of abuse?

As it hardens, the top layer of soil will no longer allow air, water or young seedlings to pass through.

This will of course have disastrous consequences:

  • germination is most likely affected
  • the young shoots will have a hard time getting through this flabby crust
  • instead of infiltrating the soil, the rain (or watering) will run off (causing lack of water for the crops), or stagnate (possibly causing rotting of the crops)
  • the life processes in the soil will change significantly
  • mineral elements, are not released properly
  • plants will grow poorly
  • the fruits will have more trouble developing, and they will ripen poorly
  • due to the hardness of the soil, harvesting root vegetables will be more difficult

It is therefore a phenomenon that should absolutely be avoided…

Don’t refine the soil too fine

The finer the soil, the more you expose the soil to this phenomenon of surface hardening.

So for direct sowing it is of course good that the soil is well refined. But there is a “golden mean”… Don’t make it “semolina”, but rather leave little clods behind… Another good reason to choose the Grelinette or the Campagnole over the tiller or the tiller…

And avoid heavy compaction after sowing. A light filling, for example with the back of a rake, is sufficient to promote good harvesting.

Also leave small stones on the floor.

Cover the ground

The best way to avoid blows is to just cover the ground.

The impact of raindrops on the earth’s surface is then nil.

Enrich the soil with organic matter

We are here in the continuity of the previous process.

Regular additions of diversified organic materials, and more particularly cellulosic materials, will allow the formation of a stable humus.

This humus is not subject to clearance…

What to do if a sealing crust has already formed?


If the soil is not yet covered (for example after sowing, or because it has not yet warmed up sufficiently, or because you are afraid of being destroyed by snails or rodents), hoeing the soil will break this surface crust…

Growing green manures

Grow green manures with creeping roots (ie developing freely on the surface) in the autumn.

This culture will aerate the surface soil, while covering the soil in the fall and winter.

And by mowing it, it will bring organic matter next spring…

Then proceed to cover the soil with different and varied organic substances…

In short, by simply applying the principles presented in My Natural Vegetable Garden, you greatly reduce the risk of soil loosening.