Did you know that a garden that requires less tilling could save you a lot of time? It sure can! It can be very beneficial on your end since you’ll be relieved from doing much of the backbreaking organic gardening functions. So in preparation for planting an organic garden, with a no-till garden that is, digging and turning over the soil’s top layers, and ridding the yard of weeds won’t be much of a task anymore. Learn more about no-till gardening by reading further of this article.
Why digging the soil isn’t always a good idea
Digging may help with aerating the soil especially when starting an organic vegetable garden. But the other major thing about digging into the garden bed is that the act itself can cause a disturbance to the ‘natural growing environment’. Other than potentially delaying the natural process to take place, digging may also lead to soil erosions or compactions.
No-till gardening benefits
Any garden bed can experience a ‘no-tilling gardening’. Even after it has been created, any form of interference with the garden bed’s surface will no longer occur. No digging, no turning, no nothing. This is where soil amendments and other natural fertilizer products simply come into the picture.
Amendments such as organic garden fertilizer products (worm castings, compost from leaves, days old manure from plant-eating animals, etc.) are typically used to help compensate with the no-tilling effect. The nutrients that these components provide are then absorbed into the ground, sustaining all the living things embedded into the system.
No-Till gardening process
The no-tilling gardening starts by planning your garden bed, and by determining the shape and size for it. The best ones are usually built a few months prior to using it to let the nutrients (from decaying materials) to settle well into the bed. Now, if there are any grass or weeds that’ll need to be mowed or cut from the garden bed, make sure that you do so. And as soon as you’re done with this, proceed by covering the bed with at least 6 layers of presoaked cardboard or newspaper. This will enable to block of the light needed by weeds that sprout from the ground.
In this kind of organic gardening, the next step would be is to add compost into the ground (your choice of soil amendment and organic fertilizer). This organic product should also be more or less three inches high; and should be layered alternately with a mix of carbon and nitrogen-rich materials (create a layer height of at least 24 inches). Your carbon or browns can consist of dead leaves and straws. Your nitrogen or greens on the other hand are usually made up of grass clippings and animal manure. After this, water thoroughly.