They Were Highly Skilled in Agriculture
The Aztecs lived in an area that was very dry and not ideal for farming. They did manage to find a way around that problem through the use of Chinampa. These were essential in getting a range of crops to grow in the dry climate and be able to weather some of the droughts the region experienced.
To create a Chinampa, farmers would stake out an area in a lake bed, typically about thirty by two and a half meters. After they fenced the area off they would fill it with mud, sediment, and compost to rise the ground above the level of the lake. Trees would also be planted in the corners in order to help secure the artificial island. These small islands in the middle of shallow lakes then became areas of rich soil with easy access to water.
The Aztecs also practiced terrace farming in which they would create walls of stone in hillsides. These walls would then be filled in to create areas of deeper soil that could be used to plant crops even in areas were the land was not flat. One problem the Aztecs faced was retaining nutrients in the soil. They had two ways of dealing with that issue. The first thing they did was rely heavily on what they called the “three sisters.” The three sisters referred to maize, squash, and beans, which would be planted together because they would keep the nutrients in the soil. Aztecs farmers would also rotate their fields in order to allow some of the land to lay fallow and regenerate nutrients.
Agriculture was a trade that was taught in school and the knowledge was passed down from generation to generation. In addition to maize, beans, and squash, Aztec farmers also grew avocado, tomatoes, and guava, as well as cotton and rubber trees.