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Friday evening question, To till or not to till, that is the question.


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#1 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 02:58 PM

So any of you that have a garden, do you till then plant, or plow, disk and cultivate and then plant or do them all, then plant.  The reason I ask is, I read some where that if you till the soil, you run the risk of killing all the good bugs and earth worms, which is not good for the soil, just a reminder, I am not a professional gardener, I am just a guy who likes working the ground and planting something and hope it grows. So just wondering what your thoughts are.  Noel 


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#2 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 03:58 PM

What are you planning to plant out? As a professional gardener one of the issues of using Rotovators or Tillers is that you eventually pan the bottom of the ground. I.E. You are only tilling to a certain depth and then it's solid underneath. Ploughing is a way of breaking the panning or double digging is another way. For herbescous plants the roots are generally fibrous but vegetable growing require deep soil to get their roots in.

As ever, always work the soil when the conditions are right (weather and soil conditions).
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#3 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 04:39 PM

When the weather allows, I till compost in and let it set for a week or two. Weeds come up and then I till again. I seems to help slow the weeds down. Good Luck, Rick
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#4 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 04:41 PM

Potatoes is the crop. Thanks for the info bolens800uk. Noel.
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#5 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 04:48 PM

. . . one of the issues of using Rotovators or Tillers is that you eventually pan the bottom of the ground. I.E. You are only tilling to a certain depth and then it's solid underneath. Ploughing is a way of breaking the panning or double digging is another way.

When farmers used plows, that was the best way of getting hard pan. The design of the plow blade made a smooth bottom to the furrow. That's why they all went to chisel plowing.

If I'm planting stuff in hills, like tomatoes or cabbage, I see no reason to work it.

 

Incidentally, I've heard the Amish say, if they buy a farm that has previously been tractor farmed; it takes about 10 years to get it back in good shape.


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#6 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 04:56 PM

 I read some where that if you till the soil, you run the risk of killing all the good bugs and earth worms.   So just wondering what your thoughts are.  Noel 

 

I suspect the good bugs and earth worms just get dizzy from spinning on the carnival-like ride.  ....This is just my theory because I have never seen a worm stagger from dizziness or alcohol. :smilewink:

 

Don't you just hate a wise-azz? :(    :wallbanging:


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#7 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 05:13 PM

Hehe, thanks Bruce. Thanks for the input, Noel.
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#8 Bolens800uk OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 05:20 PM

[quote name="LilysDad" Incidentally, I've heard the Amish say, if they buy a farm that has previously been tractor farmed; it takes about 10 years to get it back in good shape.[/quote]

One of the causes of poor soil is compaction caused by the weight of the tractors.
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#9 HANKG ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 05:56 PM

  I like to till my garden I have sandy soil that I enrich every year with fertilizer and top soil no need to plow because its sandy not hard soil. And I hate weeding therefore I put down a weaved black tarp like material 75.00 a roll they are six' wide by a 100' poke holes for seed and never weed the garden I get a good yield every year with almost no work. my garden is about 20 by 25 feet.


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#10 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 06:32 PM

Mine is a little bigger 30 x 50. Noel.

#11 JBRamsey OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 06:43 PM

I turn mine over, run over with the cultivators, disc if and then till,it. I also plant wheat or rye every fall and turn it in for green compost. I add leaves to it each fall too. You need organic matter for the worms. I plant my cucumbers, squash and stuff like that in hills. This year I am trying beds for the first time.
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#12 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 07:17 PM

My garden is in two sections. One is pie shaped and about 40' wide bay 75' long. The other piece is about 30' square. The area where the vine crops go is not plowed but tilled good so hill are easily made and I have fine soil for seed planting. the large part is plowed, tilled with the GT tiller and then just before planting I hit it again with a BCS walk behind tiller. It turns a lot faster and makes a nice fine seed bed. Larger part rows are about 50' long. Put in one row of Red Radish, one of white radish, one of lettuce, 1/3rd row of beets, peas and beans, three rows of onions. And are beat tonight and redy for dinner.
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#13 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 08:39 PM

I used to over till my garden over and over and ,,,,,, I figured the more the better lol Made it into powder then when it rain it got like concrete lol Now I'll plow then till it flat ,then once more when planting.
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#14 ol' stonebreaker ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 09:36 PM

  I've always tilled mine spring and fall. This yr I'm trying just planting in the spring and till in manure and chopped leaves in the fall as deep as the TB horse will go. I figure this won't agitate all the underground critters when they are needed the most.

                                                    Mike


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#15 oldedeeres ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 10:46 PM

   My soil is lite and silty. I let the weeds grow after harvest and till them under the last thing in the fall but before they set seed. When conditions are right in the spring I till again diagonally to the rows  and  kill any weeds that are germinating. Then I work the rows and plant immediately. This gives my seeds a head start on the weeds, (hopefully) and from then on it's just hand weeding in the rows. I do cultivate between the rows if needed if things get ahead of me, but I prefer to use a hoe--- I worry about the earthworms too when I use the tiller.


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