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

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
U2's Bono partners with Monsanto to destroy African agriculture with GMOs
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
Russia throws down the gauntlet: energy supply to Europe cut off; petrodollar abandoned as currency war escalates
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
600 strains of an aerosolized thought control vaccine already tested on humans; deployed via air, food and water
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
The 21 curious questions we're never allowed to ask about vaccines
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Delicious
(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.

Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support NaturalNews.com by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

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

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

GET SHOW DETAILS
+ a FREE GIFT

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.