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No Till Gardening


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#1 BairleaFarm OFFLINE  

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 11:27 AM

No till is one of the best methods for maintaining healthy dirt. Whenever you till/plow its hard on the organisms. You also never want barren dirt regardless of what garden method you use. Cover crops are your friend.

Everyone says turn in your compost but in reality it does better if you layer. Think about how rich soil is in a forest. Worms and other bugs work up from where they are. When they breakdown a layer they move up. As organic matter falls they break it down.

I plow new garden plots seeing how my dirt is such crap turning under compost the first time gives all the living stuff something to do and I feel like I'm jump starting the base.

I do disk just break up the surface but rarely go deeper than 1" it's a little tougher to plant but since I run very little equipment over the gardens my soil is soft and you can almost dig it by hand. During the rainy season you'll sink if you walk through it.

I start ask my seeds except corn inside and transplant them. I use compost and a little hoe action for weed control.
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#2 BairleaFarm OFFLINE  

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 11:34 AM

I would like to find a planter. If I had a basic one I could covert it to no till. I've been looking for a old two row planter. Between two wore out sections I feel I could get a single row unit.

If you feel that your dirt may be packed you should rip it. Rippers can easily be made. Since our plows only go 4-6" deep it won't cure the dense ground. Also by ripping your not totally disturbing the biological aspect of the soil. Ripping allows water and air to enter the soil.

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#3 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 02:01 PM

 It sounds wonderful but for me I have to roto-till just to kill slugs! If I don't I would loose my entire garden to the monsters!! I found this to be the absolute best way to handle these little boogers. :mad2: 


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#4 BairleaFarm OFFLINE  

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 02:03 PM

Chickens in portable pens work well.

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#5 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 17, 2013 - 02:14 PM

Mine don't eat the slimy blokes..



#6 freedhardwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted October 18, 2013 - 06:41 PM

What do you use for compost and how big is your garden?



#7 BairleaFarm OFFLINE  

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Posted October 18, 2013 - 06:51 PM

I'm moving gardens around. My main one is 100' x 50' half off this is virgin soil so I added I've 20k of compost this fall. My compost is half hay and half cow poop. Any other farm waste goes in the pile as well. The hay is from our storage lot and the manure is from our feed pad. It's turned monthly and sits for about a year before I use it.
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#8 freedhardwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted October 18, 2013 - 08:11 PM

If I had access to compost material like that I might be a little more receptive to no-till. The only thing I can get at a reasonable price is sawdust.

 

I have a big rear unloading silage wagon that I used to catch the sawdust in my former woodworking business. I can get that filled for $5 at a local sawmill. I hauled 2 loads today.

 

On the new 12'x200' garden spot I worked up I put about a 2" layer of sawdust, 100 lbs of 46% urea and about 1 1/4 lbs of "Ground Hog" radish (breaks up hardpan).It's a little late for the radish, but it was only $4 and if the cold weather holds off for a little bit, It might do some good.

 

Then I made one pass with the tiller to work everything in, tear up the sod chunks and level the ground some.

 

SAWDUST, FERTILIZER, AND RADISH.jpg GROUND HOG RADISH 1.jpg GROUND HOG RADISH.jpg


Edited by freedhardwoods, October 18, 2013 - 08:19 PM.

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#9 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted October 18, 2013 - 08:28 PM

Some sawdust is bad for the garden. Watch for walnut and some others. Also, almost all sawdust is acidic to some degree as it decays, you will probably need lime to counter the sawdust. Especially pine sawdust.
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#10 freedhardwoods OFFLINE  

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Posted October 18, 2013 - 09:14 PM

Some sawdust is bad for the garden. Watch for walnut and some others. Also, almost all sawdust is acidic to some degree as it decays, you will probably need lime to counter the sawdust. Especially pine sawdust.

The mill I get the sawdust from is a pallet mill and they don't saw walnut. Since I live in Amish country with lots of horses, all the mills around here know not to sell walnut sawdust unless someone specifically asks for it.

 

I used to think that you had to counter the acid if you added sawdust. I can't find it now, but a university did a study on the acidity of soil when sawdust was added. In the first few months, ph levels did drop because of the acid leaching out. On every species of sawdust they tried including pine, the ph levels were actually very slightly higher after 1 year.

 

I have been adding sawdust for years with no problems. You have to be sure to add lots of nitrogen to help it decompose.

 

The first time I used sawdust was on a 30'x30' plot of subsoil from our basement. It literally would not even grow weeds. I put sawdust 1 foot deep with 100 lbs of urea and tilled it in. I never added any lime and by the second year, it was the best soil I had.


Edited by freedhardwoods, October 18, 2013 - 09:17 PM.

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#11 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2013 - 06:42 AM

A number of years ago I started to put a layer of leaves and grass on for a compost. I had thought I would let it lay til spring, then work with it. Well, it matted on top and wouldn't dry out for me. I was close to 4 weeks late til I could do any thing in the garden that spring. So now I mulch with grass clippings throughout the summer and in the fall I still put all my leaves on. But I try to til them in slightly to mix it. I am tilling down I think about 4-5 inches in the fall. My neighbors must think I am nuts still working in the garden in December.


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#12 Racerxxx OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2013 - 07:54 AM

Ive tried the true "no-till" thing a couple times and ended up with a garden full of weeds and grass.

For me its much easier to run a tiller between rows to control weeds. Now, I do plant a cover crop and till it in. Just not gonna do the true " no till" thing anymore.

Your milage may vary


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#13 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2013 - 07:22 PM

I've tried it and same thing, weeds galore and slugs got the rest. So I till the ever lovin' crap out of it ! The worms are always plentiful and the weeds and slugs are at a minimum. And I get plenty of yeild too considering it is only the 3rd year for a garden at my new place.
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#14 Robert Webb OFFLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2013 - 08:05 PM

I understand that idea behind NO TILL but we have proven that plowing actually helps improve the yields.  The ground that we have plowed for the last couple of years at the Alabama Plow Day actually yeilded about 15% better than the years before we plowed it.  The ground had been farmed NO TILL for 12 years prior to us plowing it.  What I dont understand is the fact that you drive machinery over and over across a piece of ground and it is continually getting packed, at some point it is going to get so hard that the roots cant get down to where they need to be to grow properly.


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#15 shorty ONLINE  

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Posted October 19, 2013 - 08:18 PM

So true Robert. Years ago it was overworked, resulting in erosion and poor soil. Now it is starting to be underworked and yields are lower. But with the lower yields are lower equipment costs and a lot less erosion. I just try to stay somewhere in the middle.






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