There's a lot of buzz going around about no-till farming and gardening.
People are saying it's the best way to grow, and it eliminates erosion. But is the no-till method really the way to go?
We'll explore how no-till gardening can be seen as beneficial, and we'll also explore the method's downfalls.
So as you ask yourself if the no-till method is the way to go, consider both sides of the discussion before deciding for yourself.
What is the No-Till Method?
If you're not too familiar with no-till gardening and farming, it's simply defined as a way in which one can grow crops through multiple growing seasons without disturbing the land with tillage.
The no-till method involves adding amendments over the top soil, with the expectation that those amendments will find their way into the soil by means of irrigation.
Proponents of no-till gardening claim it's beneficial because it doesn't disturb crucial organisms, like worms, that help to naturally aerate the soil.
Disadvantages of the No-Till Method
In addition to helpful organisms like worms, there are also many insects and fungi that present a danger to your crops.
The no-till method may allow beneficial organisms to thrive, but it also encourages pests and fungi to reproduce and flourish. Also, adding amendments in the form of a light-colored bio mulch prevents the natural warming and decomposition of soil at the start of the growing season.
Furthermore, unless you're transplanting already established plants, direct seeding is likely to have trouble sprouting and growing unless the soil has been freshly tilled. It's much harder for a newly sprouting seed to find sunlight through hard, established soil that's covered in compost.
Advantages of Tilling
Tilling will pulverize and destroy invasive weed growth in your garden. It will also help to evenly loosen the soil so that your seed-sprouts can all sprout and find sun consistently throughout your garden.
There's less obstacles or "road blocks" to keep your new plants from sprouting and establishing a root system. Unlike the no-till method's way of simply pouring organic matter over the top of the soil, like a mulch, tilling blends the organic matter into the soil where it can decompose faster to provide earlier and more plentiful biomass to your plants.