The Simplified Cultivation Techniques, although dating back several decades, had found little echo among gardeners. The simplified cultivation techniques questioned the use of ploughing. They have proven themselves especially in the organic garden.
Which organic materials to use for no-till farming?
The implementation of no-till in a vegetable garden or in flower beds, to have good results, requires time and the possibility to make the organic materials that cover the soil yourself. If you don’t have a large enough garden, try to find some at a nearby farm. Buying starting and renewal materials in the form of potting soil from a store would be expensive and you would not know exactly where they came from.
How to start the Organic No-Till Garden:
Don’t do the whole vegetable garden the first year, but do it gradually.
1- Break up the soil in the plot with a spade fork, a trowel or a rototiller in the fall.
2-Place a layer of biodegradable cardboard on the surface; if you can’t find quality cardboard, don’t use it (especially not inked cardboard).
3- Spread a good layer of compost, grass clippings and RCW on the surface. (In winter, microbial activity and soil insects and worms will decompose this layer)
4- At the end of the following spring, sow a green manure mix of oats and legumes that you grind and leave on the plot.
5- In the fall, add the same materials you brought the first time (except the cardboard) in a much thinner layer.
6- That’s it, in the spring of the second year your soil is ready to receive the crops.
It may seem long, but in the following years you will save time and your back!
Advantages of simplified cultivation techniques:
No more plowing
Practically no more weeds, or so few that you get rid of them manually
You reduce the amount of water you need to add in times of drought
If the mulch you apply in late fall, after the harvest, is of good quality, fertilizer will no longer be necessary.
Disadvantages of simplified cultivation techniques:
The proliferation of slugs that must be trapped.
The warming of the soil in spring is slower because the layer of mulch serves as insulation.