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Saturday, December 26, 2015

No Till Planting - Back to Eden Method!

This is my second year planting on this property and after tilling a lot of compost into each row,  I have decided to stop tilling and utilize a variation of Paul Gautchis back to eden gardening method.   His method involves using raised beds with thick layers of compost, organic material and wood chips.   I am not using wood chips because the compost I purchase has a lot of wood particles in it.  
My rows are 3 foot wide and 50 feet long.  I have 26 rows so a total of 3900 square feet of planting space, so I will need a lot of organic material.

I am covering the row with 3-4 inches of compost before planting.   This will serve a few purposes.   One is to rebuild the soil because the compost will be worked into the soil by planting and earthworm activity.   It will also provide nutrients to the plant when I water by compost tea washing into the soil.  It will also hold moisture in the soil reducing water use.   Finally, it will eliminate the need to weed because the compost layer is so thick, weed seeds will not be able to sprout.    This will save a lot of time.

Here are images of the row being prepared.  The base soil had a lot of compost added last spring, but still has a lot of clay as you can tell by the reddish color.   The images will show the layer of compost being added and my dad surveying the work after we were done.

We laid out drip lines that only use a little over a half a gallon per hour for each 100 feet so basically I can water each row with 3 lines for a hour and only use 1.8 gallons.    Considering I have to use city water, this will save a lot of money.