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What You Need To Know To Create A No-Till Garden
Downsides of Tilling
Tilling damages the soil, causing a loss of stored carbon, nitrogen, moisture, and air pockets, and destroys the ecosystem of living organisms in the soil.
It also causes the proliferation of weeds. As the tiller turns the soil, the dormant seeds of weeds come to the surface, where they receive sunlight and water for germination.
No-Till Garden Supplies
A trowel is needed for planting, a rake for smoothing areas, and a digging fork to loosen the soil. Weeds can be killed using cardboard or newspaper.
To turn a garden into a no-till space, let the plants die in the fall, then cut them at the soil line so that roots decompose underground, adding nutrients to the soil.
Cover them with mulch or compost. Come spring, pull back the mulch and use a garden fork or broad fork to create holes in the soil to sow the seeds.
New No-Till Garden
Select a level area with enough sunlight and drainage for the soil, and plan designs for beds and walkways. Disturb the soil as little as possible while planting.
Lay newspapers or cardboard pieces to smother weeds or grass, soak them, and add mulch or compost over the ground cover. The garden
will be ready for planting
in around six months.
Establish planting beds no more than three to four feet wide, along with permanent pathways between the beds, so you can reach all the plants without stepping on the soil.
This ensures you don't compact the soil in the sections where you'll sow seeds and bedding plants. For maneuverability, design your pathways to be at least three feet wide.