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Old 01-29-2010, 08:56 PM   #1
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Default A Guide to Creating a No-Till Garden

A Guide to Creating a No-Till Garden
By Michelle Nowak
Garden Manager 2005 Growing Season, D Acres of New Hampshire

No-till Garden
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Sheet mulching, also called composting in place, sheet composting, and lasagna gardening, has many names and just as many variations. But here’s the basic idea: instead of pulling out sod, tilling or digging the soil, and incorporating compost or manure to create a garden bed, sheet mulching builds the soil on top of what’s already there. The process, then, is one of construction rather than disruption. And you need a little mental tweak to think like a sheet mulcher: instead of picturing what you need to remove from a certain spot of field or lawn to build a garden bed, you think about what you can pile on top of it that will smother the weeds and break down, over the course of some months, to build a rich, loose soil. The process more closely mimics nature’s soil-building process...
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:25 PM   #2
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I wrote this a few years ago.

http://desertification.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/no-till-gardening-sustainable-alternative-to-the-rototiller-daves-garden/

It works pretty well -- especially with layers of cardboard to choke out the weeds. You can mulch over the cardboard.

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Old 03-05-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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I like that idea of a "mental tweak" - sometimes it is hard to break out of a routine. What's not to love about sheet-composting, no-till, lasagna, whatever you call it, it is the only way to garden in my opinion.
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Old 03-05-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
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I don't make a compost pile. Im expanding my planting area now. 1. Whack down overgrowth and tramp down weeds. 2. Cover as much as possible with shredded junk mail and shredded junk mail mixed with rabbit poop and used hay. 3. Water or wait for rain. 4. Cover the area with cardboard, overlapped to exclude air and soak.
This area will be used for strawberries and blueberries.
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Old 03-28-2010, 09:25 AM   #5
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YouTube- Video on Using Organic Matter To Construct A No Till Garden

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Old 04-05-2010, 05:04 PM   #6
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Default History of Crop Production, With & Without Tillage

History of Crop Production, With & Without Tillage
by Rolf Derpsch

http://www.notill.org/LE_Articles/V3N1A2_Derpsch.pdf
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No-tillage1 and minimum- tillage have been used since ancient times by the so-called “primitive cultures” for the production of crops, simply because man has not the muscle force to till any significant area of land to a significant depth by hand. To think that tillage is inherent in, or synonymous with, agriculture is a more recent and erroneous idea...
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Old 04-11-2010, 11:20 PM   #7
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I'm on my third year of a completely no till garden now. I love it, and it (as mentioned in the links above) gets me planting much earlier than if I'd waited for the "perfect" time to till. The first year was pretty "meh," but I literally had just used my moving boxes and purchased dirt, not much compost. All year, though, I collected and composted everything I could get my hands on.

Last year, I had 8' okra and tomato plants, and some 5' marigolds. Maybe this year I'll be prepared for them; my garden plan was completely wrecked by the way the plants grew. It's a good problem to have, I guess, but boy were those marigolds strange.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:42 AM   #8
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I hope they weren't dwarf marigolds!
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:45 AM   #9
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I found some seeds from last year, and thought they were Burpee's Best dwarf variety, but then my wife reminded me they were Harlequin.

Great plants, but terrible on borders =(
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Old 06-08-2010, 04:43 PM   #10
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Default no till composting herb spiral

Sustainable garden spirals to life | Welcome to Walton Outdoors

I hope this link works -- am new to this forum. Anyway--it has a story and a video of an herb spiral we built about a year ago, next to one that we had built the year before. In each of these, we layered leaves, manures, food waste, pine straw, shredded paper, micronutrients, EM1, and a mycoryzal (that cannot be the right spelling) culture for beneficial fungus. Then a tiny handful of potting mix for each plant.

Since we were living on a barrier island composed almost entirely of quartz sand, this was an attractive, non-stinky way to compost and make fantastic dirt while growing tasty herbs and greens all in one space. After a few months, each spiral had "cooked down" a bit, and was beautiful dark dirt loaded with earthworms and smelling fantastic. We added more mulch a couple of times a year, a little fish emulsion or other nitrogen from time to time, great results.

We were so proud to build one of these at the new E.O. Wilson Biophilia Center in Walton County, FL, where many Florida school children will have an opportunity to enjoy and learn from it. I've also built a smaller version of this in a large wagon. Very happy herbs, and our butterflies and bees love them too.
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