No-dig gardens

here's an article about a guy who doesnt dig his beds: http://www.latimes.com/features/home/la-hm-nodig12-2008jun12,0,55177.story
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yep great stuff lots of it happening, we haven't dug a bed in a decade see our site it might also be a good read?
wrote:

With peace and brightest of blessings,
len & bev
-- "Be Content With What You Have And May You Find Serenity and Tranquillity In A World That You May Not Understand."
http://www.lensgarden.com.au /
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They say it's great because it saves not only digging but watering. But how much water went into growing the hay and alfalfa they layer down? I bet it breaks even.
Chris
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In article

Good point. I'm guessing that the oats, wheat, and alfalfa are self-shading and don't use that much water to grow (compared to vegetables). Additionally, there are food crop harvested from the hay (oats & wheat) so water usage there is a twofer (food and mulch). In any event, traditionally a cover crop requiring water would be grown to add nitrogen to the soil instead of purchasing inputs of manure or petro-chemical chemferts.
Lastly, no-till, after the initial prep, is a trade-off vis-a-vis labor. Instead of the heavy lifting of spading your garden, there is the process of acquiring the mulch and then (depending on the specific plants) spreading it for the heat of summer and pulling it back for the coolness of the spring and fall, and the re-spreading of it again for the winter in order to feed the web of life in your garden soil.
The superior benefits to the soil, however, of lasagna gardening (a form of no-till) are unquestionable.
--

Billy
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right. they arent watered, arent fertilized. they are "cover" crops and alfalfa is a nitrogen fixer and good feed for ruminants. in no till eventually mulch is no longer needed to rehab the soil. just compost and some well aged manure. Ingrid

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Alfalfa roots can exceed 25 feet down, so it's probably very water thrifty.
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