No-Till Vegetable Gardening
May 13, 2014
There is a lot going on in the garden now, but I thought I would take a little time to mention something that I find important. Soil is not just dirt. It is full of life and all the creatures in the soil make up the soil food web. It is pretty common to rototill the garden to make the soil nice and fluffy to plant in. However, that tiller is killing a lot of the life that lives in the soil, like worms, slugs, earwigs, centipedes, pill bugs, and even smaller critters. Since these creatures eat other life forms and are food for other creatures the web of life is disrupted, and if this is done continually then the soil gradually dies. Then you just need a lot of synthetic fertilizer to get your plants to grow.
I know there are different opinions on this, and a lot of great gardeners till their gardens each year. I just think there is a healthier way that seems to work, though I admit I still have a lot to learn about soil.
Collards planted a few weeks ago are growing strong. I just dig a hole and amend the soil a little in the hole. The soil is dark and has plenty of worms.
I put up a lot of big tomato cages for my two little tomato plants. Once some of these plants start growing they can get aggressive and will take as much room as you give them. I should be able to eat from these red and green romaine lettuce plants in a few days. Plants that will be in this area and a little beyond the picture are tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, cucumbers, turnips, eggplant, brussel sprouts, mint, and green beans. A bunch of other vegetables are in other areas… Once the seeds sprout and everything is growing I will put down some more mulch.
This book, I checked out from the library, explains no-till gardening among other good garden practices.
Pak choy flowers and a pollinator.
I noticed the rhubarb was flowering again this week. I cut back all the flower stalks. The article I was reading said that if you keep cutting them back the plant will eventually go back to focusing on growing leaves instead of flowers. I am hoping that is also true for my vegetables that made it through the winter but are flowering now. Last summer the kale flowered all summer, but it also grew a lot of leaves that we ate until December.
I made my first batch of rhubarb sauce yesterday!
I just finished listening to this audiobook, A County Year. I did not want it to end. It describes a bee keeper who lives in the Ozarks and what happens to her over the course of a year.
We have a guard robin, instead of a guard dog! Lots of bugs these days for this bird!
One morning I threw part of a bucket of water on my strawberries and I saw the snake scurry off. I don’t think snakes like strawberries, but they may keep my patch more free of pests like slugs.
It is almost berry time!