Tilling

Discussion in 'Garden Tips And Talk' started by Kutter, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    I've been reading up on the effects of tilling or not tilling a garden. Curious what you all think. Do any of you no-till? Do any of you no-till without using weed killer? Is this a viable choice? I use only manure for fertilizer and only rarely use pesticides of any kind. (The exception is to put sevin on the green beans when plants are young, to keep the rabbits away) My understanding is that tilling is bad for the worms and that it packs the soil too much.
    Personally, I love tilling so much it would ruin gardening for me if I ever stopped. I have found no better relaxing drink or pill that can compete than an hour of tilling after a long day at work. Totally takes the stress away, at least for me. I may have caused some stress on the occasions of running a tiller at daylight. LOL
     
  2. Dirtdobber

    Dirtdobber Guest Staff Member

    Messages:
    3,584
    State:
    Vian Okla
    We use a breaking plow on the fall to turn everything under , then once during winter, then early spring and just before planting time we use a spring tooth harrow then we start tilling. Plant the rows wide apart and till the middles.
     

  3. oh no

    oh no New Member

    Messages:
    11,108
    State:
    Indiana
    I'm not sure if tilling is hard on worms or not,,, it seems the vibration of the tiller would cause those little dude's to go deep.

    We are starting to see ton's of worms, since the neighbor has been giving me all his sawdust and horse manure,,,one or two spreaders a day for about 5 years,,,, my sandy ground is looking good.
     
  4. CountryHart

    CountryHart New Member

    Messages:
    10,914
    State:
    missouri
    We always turned our garden under with a breaking plow in the fall, disc it in the spring and used a tiller after that. I try to steer clear of a garden hoe as much as possible. Liguid seven is all i use also. I need to get mine limed asap and haul a few loads of manure on it this winter. I'll be glad to start working in it.
     
  5. stoney53

    stoney53 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,380
    State:
    PA
    always have turned it over in the fall then manure then turn it over again in the spring just before planting i use a roto tiller.don't have a huge garden, been working ok for me
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  6. boswifedeb

    boswifedeb USCA Jailhouse Lawyer

    Messages:
    13,931
    State:
    Tennessee
    Name:
    Debbie
    We had a little experiment last year in the garden. It was pretty much weed free when we went on vacation for about 5-6 days, and when we came back - WOW! The grass was trying to take over. So Bo and I decided to see what would happen if we just weed whacked the grass. Think lawn inside of a garden. It did pretty well. We didn't have to water very much, even in late July and August. So, it worked pretty well for us.
     
  7. 223reload

    223reload New Member

    Messages:
    10,798
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I just till with a front tine tiller,never thought about hurtin the worms. I had the best garden ever last year ,Except I also had prarie grass take over.
     
  8. Bryon

    Bryon New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Georgia
    I've tilled my garden area every month or so this winter and didn't see any problems tilling. The ground is still softer than untilled areas and I haven't noticed any compaction issues. I live in a heavy red clay area so doing it by hand is out. I still find worms consistently in my garden even after tilling.
     
  9. Bryon

    Bryon New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Georgia
    In the process of searching for other things I came across 2 styles of no-till gardening.

    1) Mix & turn the dirt with a shovel or spade fork.

    2) Layer mulch on top each year and don't turn the soil.

    I'm not seeing much use in #2 as it uses leaching from watering & rain to get the nutrients to the plants and using #1 in heavy red Ga. clay is a " I don't damn think so " kind of thing. I'll stick with my tiller.
     
    sscharlie likes this.
  10. Kip Brandel

    Kip Brandel New Member

    Messages:
    502
    State:
    Glasgow, Kentuc
    I till also, never heard about hurting worms. If you take a worm and cut it into 1/2 the head will regenerate a tail and the original tail will die in most types of worms. These small pieces of worms and other bugs that may be killed by tilling will add to the compost in the soil to a very small extent.
     
  11. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    I* just bought a new Craftsman 17" tiller-rear tine.. I have 3 small gardens, one is 45' X 24', the other two are 14' X 24'. I've cut back a lot--used to grow 2 gardens, one was 120' X 70', and on the creek I had another 30' X 24', too much work.
     
  12. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Depends on the soil where you are.
    I have what is called a heavy sand. You don't turn it over when it's wet like in the winter. Be a bad mistake.
    Just like you don't plant corn on the hill here. You plant it on flat ground or in the furrow.
    You see somebody plant on the hill you know they aint from around here. This goes for large corn production as well.

    When I plant a garden, I'll take a double wing disk and turn it up good with a couple of swipes.
    Then I take the Super A with a disk and pulverize it .
    Run my rows with a spade disk and plant.

    I spray Post on everything but corn as it kills grass which includes corn.
    Corn I spray 2-4d as it kills broadleaf.
    Leaves me plucking weeds out of the broadleaf and grass out of the corn.

    As my garden gets up I use an old walk behind tiller to bust the middles and the outer tines will throw dirt up against the plant.

    The tiller makes it easier with an irrigation system in place. I can walk the tiller over the lines instead of removing it all to run the tractor.
     
  13. Bryon

    Bryon New Member

    Messages:
    61
    State:
    Georgia
    Be careful with that tiller. Every bit of feedback I've read on them has a ton of bitching about breaking shear pins. I guess the factory pins are made out of country and using a different standard of metal.
     
  14. rcbbracing

    rcbbracing New Member

    Messages:
    757
    State:
    Ohio
    I personally would say that tilling isnt necessarily a good thing. It does compact the soil over time as well as exposing loose particle of soil to the elements which contributes to erosion especially, on an incline. If you have things like thistles, they actually come back in larger numbers after being chopped up so you are better off pulling all of those beforehand making sure to pull all the roots as well or once again it does more harm than good. And honestly my best advice is to do whatever makes it enjoyable for you. From the sounds of it, you dont need the garden to feed your family and you will start without it....so....why not do it the way you like and let you yield suffer a little bit. If you cant enjoy maintaning a garden then whats the point...till er' up!!!
     
  15. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    Disk it up. Cover it with plastic and bromide the hell out of it. Anything that was living is now dead.
    Beautiful garden it makes.
     
  16. festus

    festus New Member

    Messages:
    7,660
    I have an old tiller that's practically the same thing. I bought it about 1988 new from Sears and figured it was about time to buy another, I was really rough on it, but don't remember breaking any pins the twentysomething years I used it. I could probably get a few more years out of the old one, but will give it to my bro-in-law.



     
  17. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    When my old tiller's motor died of old age, I figured the rest of it would be worth about $50 to someone to put a new motor on. I was going to sell it and buy new tires/wheels for my tow behind cart that I use around the garden/yard. After making my plans, something suddenly occurred to me. I went out and took the tires/wheels off the old tiller and put them on the cart, then gave the rest of the tiller away for scrap. Why is the obvious so hard to figure out?