Soil Tillage

wayne_5 zone 6a Central IndianaJanuary 25, 2014

Here in Central Indiana it is nearly a whiteout as I type this. Some in AgTalk have commented in about seeing brown dust with the blowing snow from fall tilled fields while no-till fields seem fairly protected. Here the snow is likely too deep to reach the bare soil right now.

I have again looked through Ploughman's Folly and also A Second Look.
A Second Look and a third are available at http://www.soilandhealth.org/01aglibrary/01aglibwelcome.html .

Edwardard Faulkner who wrote those books believed in incorporating into the soil by stirring green manures and the other organic matter. He believed plowing incorporated the organic matter too deeply. Apparently he wasn't a no-tiller either. His writings were in the mid 1940s.

I find for myself that I agree with the conclusion of lightly incorporating into the upper soil. I do leave cover crops more alone, but do stir the soil for nice a nice planting medium and any fertilizer added. Edward believed that no fertilizer would be necessary. He believed that the soil already contained plenty of reserves if only they were made available. I can agree about half way there, but that that would only happen under ideal+ conditions.

All in all an interesting look.

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Matt139

So you are saying it is better not to till, or just mix up the top a little? I've read a book that said if you do not till, it leads to problems. For example, bind weed loves untilled soils, the lady said this in her book, and it just so happens people who do "no till" tomatoes, suffer from bind weed. what are the benefits?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:47PM
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dirtguy50 SW MO z6a(6a)

Matt, what book are you referring to? What are the problems this book spelled out? Just curious what book you read. Tks.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 10:11PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

Matt, I find for my own situation that I have deeply mixed in local peat moss, sand, and organic matter into the soil to bring the texture into a wonderful condition. This is in silty clay loam soil.Then annually I mix in more shallowly plant residues, rotted horse manure with lots of hay and straw, leaf compost, and leaf mulch...along with cover crop residues.

This works for me. Yes, I till when planting to make a nice seedbed. So I do believe in tilling, but I like to keep the enrichments up in the top 4 inches. The field across the fence is no-till and that is good for that situation.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 10:24AM
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Tygerius

Thanks for all the books to read! I love having many different methods on hand as with nature every situation is unique to climate locale and soil composition. Just adding to the list of good reads Ruth Stout's Gardening Without Work has been a great resource for me, with her no till mulch heavy approach has really helped me, especially with my hard packed sun baked southern California soil

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 11:47AM
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ceth_k(11)

@Tygeriusï¼Âyour advertising tactic is starting to get annoying.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 2:17AM
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