All Things Gardening forum: No till gardening causes soft soil

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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 8:54 PM CST
Dave mentioned in the pod cast that no till gardening resulted in very soft soil. I have noticed recently that my soil in my beds is becoming very rich looking from all the added organic matter, but it is also becoming very firm on top, almost forming a hardened crust on the surface. The texture of the soil is changing, once the crust on top is broken with a trowel or shovel, the underneath is very soft, I am wondering if it is the organic matter bonding with the soil, maybe with the combined castings of the worms that is forming the crust like effect? Any ideas or suggestions.
The crust does not seem to effect the growth of the plants ( they grow very well), but it does seem to retard weed growth (could be all in my head). Even when stepping in the bed the firm crusting can be noticed, this is most noticeable in the predominately clay based bed, but also to a lesser extent in the more sandy loam based beds.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Apr 18, 2014 5:31 PM CST
>> very firm on top, almost forming a hardened crust on the surface.
...
>> most noticeable in the predominately clay based bed, but also to a lesser extent in the more sandy loam based beds

In my beds (VERY heavy clay amended with not-enough compost), rain or mini-sprayer irrigation will "pound" the surface so that it reverts back to clay, hence becoming crusty when dry. I interpret that as a cry for help: "Mulch me!"
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Apr 30, 2014 5:50 PM CST
Just throw on another armful of rotten straw Smiling


really, I have no idea, I'm just messin' w ya!
If it retards weed growth, I wanna step by step tutorial lol

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