No, dirt doesn’t really replenish itself. It needs plants and little critters to help out. If you just keep planting and harvesting without ever letting the plants break down into the soil, or at least adding compost, the soil will become barren. There are chemical fertilizers that will prolong the break down of the soil, but they are not a substitute for what nature can do. If you improve and replenish the soil with organic matter it can go on forever.
Fertilizers are not the only option for replenishing soil. A more natural way to replenish soil is to manage the farmland and its usage, alternating the usage between livestock and different crops.
When animals range on the land, they drop dung, which contains a lot of nitrogen and helps enrich the soil.
Different crops require different nutrients and replace different things in the soil, so alternating crops can keep land fertile forever.
For example: a farmer should not plant deep-rooted plants right after one another, like yams and then potatoes, OR shallow-rooted plants right after one another, like corn and rice. Adding in a season of planting legumes can replenish important nutrients in the soil. In other words, planting crops from different families helps alternate the nutrient uptake and intake for the soil and keeps land fertile.
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