The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7492
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Gershon, I am pleased to hear of your satori. I understand how difficult it is to leave a paradigm as ingrained to our gardening genes as cultivation, but as you read about the science, then experience the differences in labor and result as you move toward true no-till, it becomes clear that not everything we are taught or hold to be true is necessarily as it appears...

That is indeed a daunting thought, but we have great need to embrace it on so very many fronts.

By the by, the tilling "necessary" to remove the old plants is based on a need to remove old plants, another practice I have eliminated by cutting and leaving old root systems in the ground. This creates a "vertical composting", channels down through the soil of decomposing material, which studies have shown to be natural channels for the next plants roots to follow down into the soil, opening and aerating said soil more and more... another benefit of Nature eliminated by tilling...


Full Member
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:03 am
Location: Pueblo, Co

Between this book and others, I've become convinced to disturb the soil as little as possible. It's likely the tiller will go on Craigslist shortly.

I still use the Rogue Hoe sometimes to clear a little patch for seeding if it's filled with weeds. I find this is an easy way to cut the tops off just below the surface without disturbing the soil underneath.

Weeding is down to maybe 10 minutes a day where I go around and pull or break off some of the big ones. I have LOT of wild sunflower going.

I allowed one no name weed to grow in an area I wasn't using. It's about 3 feet tall. Yesterday, I went to cut it own and noticed it's almost covered with ladybugs. That one gets to stay.

A week or so ago, I was a little discouraged about germination, but that problem as disappeared. Now everything seems to come up. Not quite as quickly as in tilled soil, but a few days doesn't make much difference.

There are other free books from which have great information. Maybe we could review one of those. I like "The Weed Problem - a New Approach." It's not as scientific as Jeff's, but the concepts are there.

One thing I'm trying is laying composting material in the paths between rows. They tend to get wet if I leave the drip on too long, so it keeps the mud off my shoes. And I figure it will get trampled into the dirt an the nutrients might leach sideways. Since it's in the path, it shouldn't take any nutrients from the bed that aren't already leaching out.

Thanks for recommending this book. It has been quite a change in my methods.

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