Monday, January 14, 2008

rototilling versus no-till gardening

my dad had a garden when i was a kid- oh probably every year. he has always been the outdoorsy type. he owned a rototiller and i remember watching him till up huge gardens and plant and plant. we always had lots of veggies. then- i grew up and moved to the bustling metropolis (uh huh) and found that store bought veggies, by and large, suck. if you buy store bought, it is either tasteless or spoils instantly because it's shipped. so- last year i got the brain storm i would porch garden. it actually worked out quite well for me- except that my beans got some kind of blight. and the yield wasn't as high as i would have liked- but i packed too many plants into each pot. so- i learned what to look for and learned a bit about what works. now, my big thing is to eventually be self sustaining with growing, canning and freezing my own veggies. you can can without salt or much sugar- depending on what you are canning. the salt really only adds flavor- and i can add that while cooking.

so- i am pretty much starting from scratch- and i know that my dad always tilled- but i don't have a tiller (will rent one)- so i thought i would look into no- till gardening. so i did. and i think that i will probably till this year- and start the process for a no-till garden in the fall. by then- i will have had a crop and i will have lots of nice compost to put on the top. the bin i used last year worked ideally- but is too small for my needs. i purchased a compost bin from target- it is a decent size and reasonably priced and is made from recycled plastic. you can only order it online though. so- i will have compost ready for spreading on in the fall- and next spring- i will have the start of my no-till garden. perfect for the plants and little wormies and other creatures :) hopefully, the rabbits won't eat my lettuce. i live in a small urban city it is true- but it is on the verge of forests and wooded lots and whatnot. i may not have to deal with woodchucks- but i may get some rabbits. we'll see.


Daniel said...

Hey, Betmo, the way to go. The growing and eating of one's own food is sublime. Brings people back to nature, to the rhythms of the seasons, to the cycle of life, puts humans in perspective in the total scheme of things.

Good luck!

an average patriot said...

Okay Betmo now you did it!
You hit on one of my life loves. I only keep a small garden now butYou name it and I have done it not only with veggies but cows and chickens. I will try to keep this short.
I was just discussing the yesterday too with a couple of fans. Anyway I lived at and went to an Agricultural school. I worked on farms throughout New England. I canned and peserved. Also butchered Broilers and smoked Bacon.
I won't get too involved with all that but when I was raising my sons I had a 1,400 sqare foot garden amongst other things like fruit trees and grape vines. Anyay I made a root cellar where I kept carrots, potatos, onions, pumkins and various squashes. Had quite an asparagus garden too! patio gardening works you just have to fertilize accordingly. Composting and companion gardening are a lot of fun. It's all good. Did you know carrots love tomatoes. I would love to discuss any or all of this any time. I am a survivalist too. Take care!

betmo said...

jim- did you know i am clairvoyant? i am sensing an email or 5 in your future :)

Larry said...

Don't know as a fact, but I would assumew no till would have more weeds and grass than with tilling.