garden

Feeding the soil: An introduction to the no-till gardening method

Friday, June 21, 2013 by: Michael Ravensthorpe
Tags: no-till gardening, composting, home garden

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) No-till gardening is a natural method of gardening that rejects mechanical means of horticulture, such as compacting, plowing, eroding and degrading the earth using tools and machines, in favor of less aggressive means that encourage soil fertility. Advocates of the no-till method believe that tilling is bad for land in the long-term because it breaks the soil's structure, ultimately leading to soil erosion. It also destroys fungi, earthworms, organic material, and bacteria, which all play an important role in natural and healthy soil ecology.

Origins

The origins of no-till gardening are sometimes ascribed to the Australian conservationist, Esther Deans, who fashioned a method of gardening which involved placing newspaper or cardboard over a patch of grass or weeds. When mulch (rotting organic matter, such as vegetable peelings) was placed atop the layer, natural soil-making conditions were produced. However, the Japanese microbiologist Masanobu Fukuoka has also been labeled the 'parent' of no-till gardening, since his book, The One-Straw Revolution, advocated a method of soil building that was divorced from machines and chemicals. In the United States, gardener Ruth Stout is often considered the originator of no-till gardening. She advocated a method of gardening that involved layers of compost on top of an initial layer of card or newspaper, which eventually decomposes and provides fertile growing conditions for plants.

Creating a garden using the no-till method

If you'd like to create a garden using the no-till method, follow these steps:

1.) After you've selected where you want your garden to be, remove any obtrusive shrubs or weeds from the area. This isn't essential with small weeds, since they'll be suffocated by the first layer you add anyway, but if you have any large flora in that area, it might be best to remove them to ensure a reasonably flat space.

2.) Add a layer of cardboard or newspapers on top of your selected space and water it. Then add a layer of mulch (such as grass cuttings, straw, vegetable scraps, leaves, paper, wood scraps, or a combination of several) on top of the damp cardboard or newspaper layer. These two initial layers will encourage the right conditions for fertile soil, and they will also attract earthworms to the area.

3.) After these two first layers are added, you can continue to add more layers of mulch to the existing layers. According to the lasagna method, it's a good idea to alternate between layers of browns (such as peat and shredded newspaper) and greens (such as grass and vegetable peels).

4.) Once your layers of mulch have reached a height of approximately two feet, you can cease adding new layers and wait until everything composts. You might be surprised at how quickly this happens. Once the layers have 'flattened' through composting, your no-till garden is ready. This process will have created excellent soil quality for growing plants. Since it is common for the first layer (the cardboard or newspaper layer) to still exist after the compost is finished, you may need to cut circular holes in it before you can plant seeds or plants in the soft, fluffy soil below it.

And that's basically the no-till process. You can create a garden using this method any time of the year, and almost all fruits and vegetables will grow in it. Many gardeners like to plant heirloom tomatoes and other unique hybrids in these gardens, since the fertile, mineral-rich soil tends to enhance their unique aesthetic and nutritional qualities.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/no-till-gardening

http://eartheasy.com/blog/2009/01/no-till-gardening/

http://notillgardening.com/

http://www.onestrawrevolution.net

About the author:
Michael Ravensthorpe is an independent writer whose research interests include nutrition, alternative medicine, and bushcraft. He is the creator of the website, Spiritfoods, through which he promotes the world's healthiest foods.

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.


Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite NaturalNews.com with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...



GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

Now Available at ShopNaturalNews.com

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Podcasts
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...

 

Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...

 

Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through NaturalNews.com, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at www.StorableOrganics.com



Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
GMOs
Quackwatch
Vaccines
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of NaturalNews.com, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source: Alexa.com)

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.