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.
right. they arent watered, arent fertilized. they are "cover" crops and
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.
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