Thursday, May 25, 2017

Three Reasons To Retire My Tiller

 I can't tell you how long I researched and agonized over which roto-tiller to purchase.   And when I finally made the decision, I couldn't wait for it to arrive and to miraculously - and effortlessly) transform my heavy, hard to work, sticky, mucky clay soil into the perfect sandy loam. 
I chose this lovely little Mantis that I can handle easily on my own and envisioned using it for both prep and regular maintanence work. 

Here are my top three reasons for finally giving it away (although I retired it years ago) 
  1. You can't wrangle a tiller through clay soil.   Even with the perfect amount of moisture, clay particles are so small that they lay very close and tight up against each other.   This is what makes clays heavy and hard that work. 
  2. Tilling soil brings weed seed up to the surface where it will receive ample sun/heat to sprout - now there are more weeds to pull.    
  3. Tilling kills earthworms and other microorganisms by running over them (duh) or exposing them to light and air.   So in trying to help my soil, I was actually damaging it.  I discovered that if I mulched my planting beds with shredded leaves, earthworms and other bugs would break it down and move it through the soil more efficiently than I ever could.  Easy Peasy
I still don't have sandy loam (except in the raised beds we've built) but we've managed to grow a pretty nice landscape - and with much less effort. 

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