The Q&A Archives: Rototiling

Question: This was my first year growing a garden and we rototiled it in the spring once. The dirt was not that loose and of course the weather did not cooperate. What, I was wondering should I rototil once in the fall before winter and then again in the spring to loosen it more. I also read that putting garden lyme and mulching leaves and putting it in the garden is good. So what would you recommend?

Answer: It can take a few years to enrich your garden soil and end up with a nice texture. Adding organic matter on a regular basis will help. When your garden is finished at the end of the summer, remove all the plant material and spread 4-5 inches of organic matter over the vegetable bed. You can use compost, aged manure, shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Level the soil and spread a 2-3 inch layer of organic matter over the top to help suppress weeds. When it is time to plant in the spring, dig or till the organic matter into the soil and plant your vegetables. Cover over the bare soil around the plants with a few inches of organic matter to help suppresss weeds. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular vegetable garden. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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