I am not suggesting that you should stop growing vegetables, but that you should consider using a different method of cultivation. No-till or no-dig is just what it says in that you prepare the bed in a special way once and then never dig again. So this method saves the annual chore of digging and suppresses weeds. To discover the five reasons why you must do a no-till garden read this article by Delci which I found on the Hometalk website.
This last year I was told, rather bluntly, ?Forget everything you know about gardening and start over? and I haven?t forgotten those words.Now, my husband jumped right in on the idea, ?No tilling? OK! You don?t have to convince me!? His job each spring was to till my garden and my job was to?nag him?until it was done. There is only a limited amount of time in Montana before summer is in full heat and snow is just around the corner, you know? So if tilling was in the plans, it had to be done?without delay.
- But first, why is there a problem with tilling your garden?
- When the soil is turned, it leads to a 90% loss of the decomposing crop from the previous year. Your garden needs that decomposing organic matter to keep it healthy!
- The soil is exposed to all the elements. Wind and rain are the most devastating, causing the soil to be blown or washed away.
- Although there is one benefit to tilling: disrupting the life cycle of the weed, it is very labor intensive because most plots will need to be tilled several times before planting begins.
- Tilling also creates a hard pan, just below the depth of the tiller, that you don?t want under your garden.
- And the entire underground environment for all the bugs and fungi is disrupted?you want to keep your worms happy, right? Then you better stop tilling.Does that convince you to ?begin to stop? tilling your garden?