Talk to me about "no till" gardens

flowerbug

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I'm not being an A$$ here. It just struck me as funny. You don't disturb more than 10%of the soil below the surface. The earth is 8000 miles in diameter. That means you never disturb more than 800 miles deep? I want too see your tiller. Was that supposed to be 10 inches?
i'm a busy little feller!

i only use a shovel so that perhaps gives a bit more of a clue about what i'm doing. it is very rare i dig more than a shovel in depth. once in a while i may go two shovels if i'm burying organic materials or roadkill. in our subsoil clay and high water table i often can't dig much beyond two shovels without getting pretty mucky - depends upon the season and how much rain we've had.

to be clearer 10% in area not volume...

yesterday i found out the ground is not frozen.
 
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seedcorn

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I tried it using local materials that I had on hand. I ended up accidentally poisoning my soil with a herbicide that passes through the animal and doesn't degrade when composted when adding a layer of composted horse manure to my garden. It was a horror story of epic proportions...

After several years, I am trying again in my raised beds.
Curious what chemical that would have been as all AG chemicals break down in 30 days now-didn’t use to be as they would carry over winter if it was a cold, dry fall/winter. Water/heat breaks down chemistry. Thinking someone is either WAY off label or they sprayed the pen down with a chemical to kill molds/algae. Chemicals in the hands of untrained people are dangerous.

I’m minimum till. I till the garden just deep enough (2-4”) to incorporate last year’s residue. Last time I will till as I’m then mulching my ground with straw. Without mulch, the sun will bake roots on my sand/gravel.
 

Ridgerunner

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Curious what chemical that would have been as all AG chemicals break down in 30 days now-didn’t use to be as they would carry over winter if it was a cold, dry fall/winter.
The story I remember on this is that several years back Washington State University was experimenting with chemicals to aid in grain harvest, probably wheat. In part of the world where they have cool wet falls ( mainly parts of Canada and Europe) they spray the crop with something that basically kills it so it all dries up at the same time. You can probably imagine the issues if part of the crop is dried and ready for harvest but parts are till green. Moisture content and all that or the early grain rots while waiting on the latest to ripen. Very few places in the US have that problem.

They sold the straw from those experiments as mulch and it killed plants. They learned that lesson the hard way, look at how fast it does break down.
 

seedcorn

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Interesting as I don’t remember that. Now, that wouldn’t happen As all products treated with chemicals being studied are treated as bio hazards. Seed corn is killed by some-they use a very low rate of salt water.
 

ducks4you

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I still love my tiller. George Morris tells we equestrians to not pick up and carry anything that can be transported with something else, like a wheelbarrow or tractor, bc you should always save your back. I have translated this to same with a spade. Why break up compacted soil with your spade? You always end up breaking it into smaller pieces with your fingers, anyway. If you don't want the weeds, use a raised bed and put cardboard down at ground level, then fill with soil. All of the seeds deeper in the soil and weeds that send runners underground won't come up in That bed.
I think you might want to research straw bale gardening, which is essentially no till compost gardening since you don't dig to plant.
 

flowerbug

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i'm not sure of who "you" is @ducks4you ? i don't do much work into breaking up clods and if i am doing that it isn't much for very deep as i'm probably just making sure i have enough loose soil to make a decent furrow/seed drill. i don't use a shovel for that either - i have a four prong rake that i use.
 

ducks4you

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i'm not sure of who "you" is @ducks4you ? i don't do much work into breaking up clods and if i am doing that it isn't much for very deep as i'm probably just making sure i have enough loose soil to make a decent furrow/seed drill. i don't use a shovel for that either - i have a four prong rake that i use.
My tiller is a labor savor. Yeah, I use a rake, too. By this time of year I am very weary from seasonal every day stall cleaning. The thought of doing More hand tool work wears me out! :hit
 

flowerbug

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My tiller is a labor savor. Yeah, I use a rake, too. By this time of year I am very weary from seasonal every day stall cleaning. The thought of doing More hand tool work wears me out! :hit
i have planted into holes poked into the ground with a dibble or a stick. that goes pretty quick and not much other than the usual hand tool work for those gardens (keeping the weeds scraped off the surface with the stirrup hoe). i even have a chunk of PVC pipe with a funnel on top that i can drop the seeds down and into the holes so that i don't have to bend down, but that was for way back when i was having a tougher time doing about anything at all - it isn't really any faster though.

now i find that i can plant gardens pretty quickly with the 4 prong rake and then i have a pointed hoe that i use for the furrow and i walk along and drop seeds at whatever spacing i want into the furrow and then use the pointed rake to backfill over the seeds and to tamp down the soil to make it firm enough. when i have a whole garden planted i give it all a good shot of water if rain isn't forecast for that evening and then i keep it moist once or twice a day until the seeds start showing up.

it takes me more time to write things down than to plant.

if it weren't so windy out right now i'd be outside - i have a few gardens that really need it that i'd like to get some early work done on. still a bit too muddy but i can work around that...
 
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