There is some good sense beyond the modern push to “no-till” gardening methods.
One of the best arguments I’ve found is that no-till farming and gardening doesn’t disturb the soil ecosystem.
You may not think of a patch of ground as a huge web of living creatures, but it is. And those creatures do a lot of hard work, all day, day and night.
Check out this timelapse video showing how soil fauna break down fallen leaves:
Bioturbation with and without soil fauna from Wim van Egmond on Vimeo.
Impressive, isn’t it?
When you rototill an area, you kill off a lot of the useful creatures in the soil, both macroscopic and microscopic.
On a forest floor or a healthy patch of prairie, these creatures break down debris and turn it into the soil, bringing plants the good stuff they need to thrive.
One of the reasons I don’t use pesticides and herbicides (with the exception of the occasional nicotine spray to kill pesky cucumber beetles) is because I do not want to kill soil life.
Just because you can’t see what’s happening beneath your feet doesn’t mean you should ignore it.
Tread lightly and nature will do a lot of good work for your garden. Most bugs and worms are not our enemies.
*h/t PermieFlix for finding this video.
Is it weird that I have dreams that look a lot like this video, after I start a new compost pile or lasagna bed?
No. That is completely normal.
Random comment as I couldn’t find a post regarding this topic . . . but do you have any advice on planting Coccinia grandis seeds? I’ve been watching your YouTube videos and you’ve show-cased this edible a time or two so I purchased some seeds. Just wondering if there’s any secret to starting them. Figured I’d ask before I start them . . . as opposed to after I’ve killed them.
Heh. I haven’t grown them from seeds, only cuttings. I’d plant them in pots of decent soil and keep them moist but not too wet. Once they grow a bit, transplant out to the garden. Good luck.
I love going out to the compost pile and seeing all the rolly pollies, worms, and even cockroaches that are doing work out there. All they have to do is eat and I will bring them all the kitchen scraps they can want. Life as a decomposer in a compost pile must be good in my opinion.
Some say to mix in 2-3 inches of compost each growing season to each bed. What do you say-mix in or leave it on top for the worms to mix it in? I don’t till because I don’t want to disrupt the lower layers. We get so much rain here so I plant in raised beds, the yard floods all the time, so raised beds help me.