So instead of making that plain in one sentence from the start you throw in
a few choice goads about 'eco-fringe' and waste time chiding me because I
wasn't being absolute with remarks like 'MAY, PERHAPS, COULD, MIGHT', which
qualification you subsequently agree with. So 6 or 10 more posts are added
to thread for no good reason. As I said before: weird.
Recognizing sarcasm is not a strong suit huh?
David, what is weird is all this pretentious self righteous
indignation of your most precious time being wasted after you give
your "position" lecture. Next time just say you all pissy because I
You are correct, rototiling does create a hardpan layer. For a lawn it may
not make much of a difference since grass only goes about 3 inches down.
For a garden soil a foot is better. If your soil is already compacted and
hard as a rock tilling is going to be better that a shovel by hand and risk
a heart attack. Double digging is the best way for small gardens. If your
garden is large or soil already compacted, rototilling can make life
easier. If the first six inches is broken up, one could the take a garden
fork and poke holes in the bottom of the hardpan layer.
If the soil is already compacted, worms are not like to be around to begin
with. When the soil becomes looser the worms may come around more.
Enjoy Life... Nad R (Garden in zone 5a Michigan)
I agree breaking ground is the only time I have ever used motorised
equipment or dug more than 10cm down, normally I rake in manures etc once or
twice a year. I just don't see the need for all this digging.
I have no idea what is achieved by frequent tilling, I suppose it gives a
feeling of neatness and uniformity to see all that fluffy soil so regularly
disturbed. In a garden you will grow much more for your efforts if you
spend less time on neatness and uniformity.
Bull, why do you use so many words to say nothing?
"The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing over
never weeded a garden."
- Ray D. Everson
Are you better off than you were 30 years ago? 10 years ago? 1 year ago?
Thank Reaganomics/Thatcherism, a.k.a. Voodoo economics :O(
i've had mixed results with
the most recent round was last summer
when i killed off an invasive plant
species and then leveled a large area
(to eliminate a gully that was forming).
the tilling did help break the soil up
making raking and leveling a much easier
task. it also provided a nice fluffy
seedbed for the spiral design i planted
(too fluffy, i should have firmed it up
a bit before seeding it in).
8 months later... the seedlings have
crowns 3-5cm above the soil. i'm not
sure how the deer and bunnies will crop
them, but i'm hoping not too low. and
i'm also wondering how they will do if
we get a cold snap without snow cover.
if that will freeze-dry the crowns and
force them to start over from below.
last winter we had good snow cover and
i didn't lose much of anything. we'll
see how the next winter goes.
the major negative from the tilling
was the spread of a different invasive
plant species seeds through the area.
i now have about 20-30 more hours of hand
weeding to get it out and then consistent
weeding to keep it out (probably for a
few years before it will be gone).
luckily i've done this before for this
species so i know it can be done. i won't
resort to spraying again. most of the
seedlings are still alive under the
smothering growth, they just aren't going
to perform as well as i'd like until i
free them up.
the 9 hours of weeding i've already done
is looking nice as the rains have perked
the seedlings up. now a few more days of
sunshine to dry things out so i can finish
the rest. the plants need to get some
more growth on to be self-shading before
the hot and dryer period starts up.
the clay is about as compacted as it
was before i tilled. tilling didn't
accomplish much there. once the worms
finished up all the rotted organic
material from before i'm not seeing much
activity, except in the pathway where
i'm piling the weeds.
the next big project is to terrace the
red patch, i'm turning it into a mixed
garden. i won't till it because it has
hundreds of perennials already that i want
to leave in place as much as possible.
i hope i can start that tomorrow or the
next day. even if i can only get the
top few levels done that would be a big
help and a nice start.
i can't think of any other gardens
i would have to till. the biggest garden
i normally spade wouldn't do as well if i
tilled. i need the larger clumps of soil
to pile up for a long mound i make to
plant the cosmos on. it being a low spot
i use the trench to catch water and the
mound to keep the cosmos high, dry and
the roots happy. if it were tilled the
soil would run down faster and the cosmos
would fall over in the wind.
my other previous uses of tilling has
been mostly to mix amendments. for larger
areas now i've just mixed it by hoe in
the wheelbarrow and then spread it out.
for smaller already established gardens
i don't do that any more. if something
needs to be added, i put it in the mulch
and the worms, rain and gravity do their
thing to incorporate it. peaceful that
You didn't blend in sand, and organic material? Are we talking lawn,
ornamentals, or veggies?
Do mean that you're not seeing worms, or not seeing the benefit of the
worms? Could it be the vermicide that you committed with the rototiller?
When you dig, do you find earthworms? (How many, and what size?)
When soil is first prepped for a garden, rototilling, and double digging
make sense, because it will speed up the development of the soil (still
the hardpan problem created by the rototiller still needs to be
addressed. After the garden is established, both (rototilling, and
double digging) just undo the work that the worms, fungi, and other
members of the soil ecosystem have done.
Gaia's Garden, Second Edition: A Guide To Home-Scale Permaculture
Oops, besides tilling, the "N" in NPK also stimulates microorganisms to
devour the organic material (carbon) in the soil. The best balance of
carbon to nitrogen is the 25/1 ration, I've been yammering on about.
The up-shot of it all is that your soil will be better aerated, and will
drain better if the tunneling by insects, and worms isn't destroyed with
a shovel, or that "vermicidal apocalypse" called the rototiller. But,
hey, if someone doesn't want to preserve aerated and better draining
soil, it's no skin off my nose.
"Tickle the earth with a hoe, it will laugh a harvest."
- Mary Cantell
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.