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Re: tilling

  • Subject: [cg] Re: tilling
  • From: "ROBERT HARTMAN" rhartman2003@msn.com
  • Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 13:55:26 -0700

I agree that tilling is generally bad for the soil in many cases. Perpetual cropping certainly is. However, the flood-plain annuals that we like to grow for food require us to simulate annual alluvial deposits with higher concentrations of N and faster microbial turnover than stable climax grasslands.

For practical purposes that means some form of tillage.

It would be really nice if we could just cut a line, stuff the opening with compost, and plant into it, rather than turning soil over. However, the most practical thing is probably to go back to the system of crop rotation where every few years a plot is allowed to lie fallow and rebalance its population of native microorganisms.

All the best,

Robert Hartman


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