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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tea for the Tiller Woman

The new thinking on soil is that tilling isn't such a good thing, because it disrupts the soil food web.  Breaking up soil is supposed to be better, and for the most part, I try to keep that in mind. Since yesterday was overcast and in the low seventies, I forked up the back forty (such as it is) for my winter garden.

 The future winter garden, not quite completely dug up.

I've determined that I need a tiller.  Not so much to turn the soil up, because it's like concrete back there.  I doubt seriously that a tiller would have been able to break it up.  Clay really is the very worst soil to with which to work.  There is really no good time to try to spade it up- there are just times that are worse than others. 

Clay clods. Rock hard clay clods.

However, for the purposes of breaking up clods, mixing in greensand and compost and otherwise improving the tilth, I'm just plain going to need a tiller.

Oh good- something else to research and buy.

1 comment:

Miriam said...

Could you rent one? I'm thinking once you get your plot tilled you won't need to do it again if you don't walk all over it. What makes me think of renting is that we have become regular customers of our local rental place, renting everything from log splitters to special nail guns for siding - they have everything we could need, and if we reserve in advance for a Saturday we don't have to return it until Monday morning, which means we get the tool for the weekend at a pretty reasonable cost. Anyway, something to think about.

And thanks for the Cat Stevens reference - I listened to him non-stop through my final year at high school...