Wednesday, April 29, 2015

i am now no-till

i have been a tiller since i have been a gardener.  its just the way its supposed to be.  so every spring, i would rip out the weeds and use the mantis to roto-till a bag or two of chicken poo into each bed - to prep for the impending growing season.

an example of my typical roto-tilling task:

well after listening to farmer fred for years and hearing him and steve zion chatting about the lack of need to roto-till, i figured 2015 would be the year i give it a try.

i am always up for giving up an unnecessary chore and with last years re-set of the raised bed, this was the perfect time to give this no-till method a shot.

each bed was topped with gardener and bloom chicken fertilizer (essentially high priced mulch) this winter.  the poo was watered down with the 13 or so inches of rain we have seen this winter - so the beds are ready to go.  no-till should make for few weeds and the few that have popped up have been either pulled or torched.

so this week, 4 tomatoes were planted - 1 per bed; and when the hole was dug, it was apparent that there was good water penetration as the bed soil was nicely moist.  i buried the tomatoes deep, added dr earth vegetable fertilizer, coir (as explained in a previous post) and some azomite to add trace minerals and back-filled.

time will tell how well this no-till method will work - but i will keep you posted as to weeds and productivity of the tomatoes.

no-till beds with tomatoes and alfalfa bales: