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 Post subject: Tilling in January
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:55 am
Posts: 4
Location: burleson,tx
I hire a man to till my garden with his tractor each spring, but am wanting to try my hand at cool weather plants which requires tilling now. More area would be tilled than is required for the cool weather plants.My concern is that the unworked area will become compacted when time to plant in the spring and difficult to work. I only have a small mantis tiller and my gardening area is large. Is it too early to till for a spring garden or should I have it done twice?
Thanks,
Kathy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 3:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:15 am
Posts: 964
Location: Odenville,Alabama
If you have an acre or less in garden beds, why till at all?

Excessive tilling is destructive on beneficial mycorhicca fungi in your compost and in the soil, not to mention the lovely earthworms.

I have a 3 acre farm house, with over an acre in no-till, bordless, raised beds. I've been no-tilling now for over 4 years. Love it! My only tools for the soil is my mower or scythe, my hoe, my spade fork, and my trowel.

I use my mowing tools for my cover crops. I use my hoe for mixing soil and compost together when needed. I use my trowel for making planting holes for my transplants. I use my spade fork to aerate soil around roots when needed. I smother my green manures, and cover my beds with tons of mature compost as a soil conditioner. I use tons of undone compost and browns as a mulch all year round. I use aerated and non-aerated tea recipes as a foliar/soil drench biostimulant to speed up and improve the performance of the compost in my soil, improve the powers of my mulches, improve photosynthesis, and for disease and pest control.

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The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton


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 Post subject: tilling in january
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 10:55 am
Posts: 4
Location: burleson,tx
The area I use for gardening is about 45' X 100', much smaller than an acre. I would love not to till, but grass creeps into this area. How do you keep grass out of your borderless garden?
Kathy


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 4:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 8:15 am
Posts: 964
Location: Odenville,Alabama
Use lots of newspapers or white papers from the office. About 6-8 sheets thick of newspaper should smother almost any weeds. Then cover the paper mulch with more organic matter like compost. I have smothered almost every weed in my new lasagne style no-till beds from fescue lawn soil, merely by using about 6-12" of horse manure/sawdust on top of the heavy grassy lawn, then putting down about 2-3" of rich garden soil or mature compost on top of that.

You can also choke out your most weediest spots in your garden beds by using weed suppressing cover crops like buckwheat (during the warm season months) or crops like rye or oats in the (cool season months). Hairy vetch, sunflowers, mustard greens, and radishes are also excellent choices for weed suppressing cover crops. They are also easy to green manure by smothering or mowing or chopping.

_________________
The entire Kingdom of God can be totally explained as an Organic Garden (Mark 4:26)
William Cureton


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 Post subject: No Till
PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2004 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 5:33 pm
Posts: 829
Location: Dallas,TX
Let me add my vote to no-till. I don't till at all any more and I am so happy not to worry about that anymore. The methods he recommended are pretty much what I use but I want to add the codicil that if you have bermuda in the are you want to plant take the time to dig it up. If you do that, go down 3-6 inches and then use the newspaper & compost. You will have great results. If your grass comes right up to the border, You will save yourself time & green putting some type of permanent edging in the ground. Other method is to add a path around the garden edge using the newspaper and then 3-6" of mulch. It's nice & spongy so good for the legs and keeps the grass out very well.

Have fun! I wish I had room for so much garden at home!
Kathe


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2004 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 07, 2003 6:57 pm
Posts: 24
Location: Huntington Texas
Just wanted to add my two cents worth, I have managed to pick up several dozen bags of leaves/pine straw from the community and I spread a few of these down my permanent paths. So far every thing seems to be working great. As soon as I can get my ground dry enough to till, (planning on covering the area with plastic sheet to keep any new rain from having an effect) I am going to prepare my beds then cover them with the rest of my straw. The straw covering protects the beds from washing and from compacting from the pounding rain. Then in the spring I'll rake back the straw to expose prepared beds, I hope.

Also I would like to recommend the book "The Vegetable Gardeners BIBLE" by Edward C. Smith. He might be a Yankee (no offense intended)but he sure has a gorgeous garden. Full of great tips and awesome photos.


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