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Re: neat appearance

  • Subject: Re: [cg] neat appearance
  • From: "Mike McGrath" MikeMcG@PTD.net
  • Date: Thu, 20 Oct 2005 09:51:45 -0400

As always, the truth (least as I see it) is somewhere in the middle.

When you're starting out--or have been gardening the same spot for a number of years, power tilling is The Bee's Knees. It breaks up big blocks of clay and brings rocks to the surface, making it easy to dispose of both; and of course opens up the soil for easy root growth. Its also a great way to incorporate organic matter. And your arms continue to vibrate for days afterward.

But tilling twice a year is certainly excessive. If people stay out of and offa their beds, as they should, the soil will stay nice and loose for years. And tilling does release a lot of the soil's nitrogen into the air.

Earthworms? If the soil is as dry as it should be for 'working' ("never work wet soil"), it won't hurt many--worms are always moving up and down in the good old 'oith to follow the wet. In a really dry soil--the only kind that should be tilled--worm contact is minimal.

A nice medium would be to have a mulch of shredded leaves available to cover empty beds over the winter and have tilling available--but not required--every Spring. The Fall tilling seems especially foolish; a total waste of lots of good soil Nitrogen.
(And it would start a big fight with ME: "Who killed my garlic and Spring bulbs?!")

Oh, and I loved Ruth Stout as well (I gave her "gardening from my couch" method lots of play (actually 're-play') when I was editor of OG), but her method doesn't work for every crop, person, situation or locale--and even Roth acknowledged that it was an absolute disaster in a wet year.

- ---Mike McG

----- Original Message ----- From: <Minifarms@aol.com>
To: <community_garden@mallorn.com>
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 8:49 AM
Subject: [cg] neat appearance


I am glad that "neat appearence" does not apply to the jungle, forest, etc.
We need a "mind change" to conform to the best gardening practices. That
one tilling is costing the soil organic matter. It destroys the roots that
directs water deeper into the soil. It destroys earth worms. Tilling destroys
their tunnels which, also, carry water deeper into the soil. It exposes the
soil to the Sun.

Read Ruth Stout's two little books. 7,000 people visited her no-till
garden. Even better get her video. She did one thing in her garden that is not
recommended in a community garden!! See the video. It works.

Ken Hargesheimer


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______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden





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