Articles, Blog

No-Till Gardening

December 15, 2019

No till gardening is a popular new method
for turning your lawn into a productive vegetable garden. I’m going to show you a few steps
toward starting a no till garden. First we just need some newspaper. I’ve got whole sections of newspapers
that I’m going to lay on the ground over the turf. I’m going to overlap the section
somewhat and this will actually, once we throw some compost on top, this newspaper will smother the turf
underneath and it’ll slowly decompose. So what we’re going to do is lay about
three inches of compost on top of the newspaper. This could be compost you make yourself
at home or it could be a commercial product such as leaf grow
that we purchase locally. This is made from grass and uh, leaves. I’m just going to pour
it right out of the bag. We’re going to spread it out so it’s
nice and even we’re going to go ahead and plant some lettuce seeds. This is a leaf lettuce
directly into the compost. I’m going to just use my finger to make
some shallow furrows for the seeds to go in, but I can take it between my fingers
and just gently allow the seeds to fall into the furrow space in them
about an inch or two apart. Okay. We’ve planted our seeds, we’re
going to cover them very lightly, just barely cover them with the
compost and pat down on the seeds. And then we’re going to water the
seed bed once or twice a day until the seedlings emerge. And after that we’ll just water when
we need to depending on rainfall. This is our eight foot by eight foot, no till demonstration quad at the
home and garden information center. You can see it’s a beautiful garden. We
have cucumber plants over to my left. We also have snap beans that are
producing nice beans right now. Two kinds of kale, Swiss chard
and Marigold all grown from seed. And we started this process back in
mid April by laying newspaper on top of turf. And we covered that newspaper with 10
bags of leaf gro to get a three inch layer. We planted our crops
at the end of may. Here it is, the end of June, things are
growing well, and as you can see, the newspaper and the turf have all
decomposed and the plant roots are growing directly into the soil. So the university of Maryland has been
a leader in no till agriculture. Now, our Maryland master
gardeners are discovering the
benefits of no till garden.

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