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ATP Podcast #53: No-Till Gardening

By dave
April 18, 2014

In today's episode we have a long conversation about no-till. What are the benefits of tilling your garden, and what are the downsides? How can you garden without ever tilling, and why should you consider that? Listen to find out!

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Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Apr 17, 2014 8:15 PM CST
Found the pod cast informative and at the same time enjoyable. By the way just to set the record straight, that large seed fork avatar of mine is something I use almost every day, I have no tiller any more, does that look like something "she" would use? Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
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Trish
Apr 18, 2014 6:28 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

My sincerest apologies! I tip my hat to you.

Although I would never assume that any woman *couldn't* handle such a tool! Green Grin!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Master Level Beekeeper Garden Sages Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
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dave
Apr 18, 2014 6:36 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

I wondered how Trish knew whether you were a "he" or a "she" and whether she was right! Hilarious!
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Seedfork
Apr 18, 2014 6:53 AM CST
Oh, I did not say couldn't use it Hilarious! , I of course was referring to the fact that she wouldn't use it, the color is all wrong! Crying
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
Image
Trish
Apr 18, 2014 7:20 AM CST

Garden.org Admin

Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Actually laughing over here! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing

@dave- you would think I would have learned my lesson about assuming after all these years! But, no.
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
[Last edited by Trish - Apr 18, 2014 7:22 AM (+)]
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Name: Kent Pfeiffer
Southeast Nebraska (Zone 5b)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator Plant Identifier Region: Nebraska Forum moderator
Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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KentPfeiffer
Apr 20, 2014 5:30 PM CST

Plants Admin

The simplest thing you can say about tilling versus no-till is that tillage is a process that steadily and inevitably converts soil (a living community) into dirt (a dead growing medium). In general, plants grow infinitely better in soil than they do in dirt.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Roses Herbs Vegetable Grower
Composter Canning and food preservation Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Organic Gardener Forum moderator Hummingbirder
Image
Trish
Apr 20, 2014 6:18 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

Well said!
NGA COO, Wife, Mom, and caretaker of 90 acres and all that dwell there.
Name: Lyn
Weaverville, California (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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RoseBlush1
Apr 21, 2014 8:44 PM CST
KentPfeiffer said:The simplest thing you can say about tilling versus no-till is that tillage is a process that steadily and inevitably converts soil (a living community) into dirt (a dead growing medium). In general, plants grow infinitely better in soil than they do in dirt.


The opposite is also true. When I started my garden, my "soil" was dead in that it had no plant organic material in it. The house pad was carved out of a slope. The garden area was four feet down from the natural top of the slope. The previous owners had covered that area with weed barrier and decorative rock.

The soil consists of tightly compressed rocks with clay and silt in between them ... more rock than clay, but it has perfect drainage. It can rain hard for days and there will be no puddles.

The first year after I had the rock scraped away, weeds would not even grow in my garden. There are still areas I have not cultivated that won't grow weeds after ten year.

In the beds I have created, I've mulched twice a year. Initially, I could not dig a planting hole with a shovel. This year, I planted bulbs with a hand trowel. I have gobs of worms and I can see the fungi mentioned in the podcast when I work in any of the beds. The soil is not where I want it, but it is alive.

Smiles,
Lyn

I'd rather weed than dust ... the weeds stay gone longer.

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