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planting a garden - a question

Old 01-23-2006, 03:46 AM
  #1  
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Default planting a garden - a question

I didn't know where to post this !

I'm going to plant a large garden this year. My Mom and Dad planted one for years, up to 1 1/2 acre gardens for a local Farmers Market.

Anyway, my Dad always plowed (tiller) between the rows every few weeks, all summer long.

Why ? Why would that be neccessary ? Any plant roots growing there you'd chop up. Airating the soil or allowing it to better absorb moisture is worthless if there are no roots there from the plants.

So what is the reason people do that ? The only year my wife and I had a garden we literally put truckloads of mulch aroud the plants (small garden) and never plowed and rarely had to weed and it done fantastic.
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Old 01-23-2006, 06:48 AM
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Dominant Buck
 
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Default RE: planting a garden - a question

Rototilling between rows won't disturb many roots unless the plant has a very wide root system , most people just do it to save weeding time . Very often it can do more harm than good , especially if the weeds propagate via rhizomes . Stick with thick mulch , it's cheap and it works . The method that you're currently using is probably a variation of Ruth Stout's Deep Mulch method and works very well , just keep the mulch at least 8" deep at all times .
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Old 01-23-2006, 08:19 AM
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Boone & Crockett
 
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Default RE: planting a garden - a question

The tilling is to help control the weeds in the middles before the plants get large enough to help shade them out. Most of the older gardeners didn't use sprays to help control the weeds. If you can mulch, then that will also help build up your soil quality. Be sure to soil test nowand get your lime right.
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Old 01-23-2006, 07:23 PM
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Default RE: planting a garden - a question

as you said , they did 1 1/2 acres , thats a lot to mulch.the tilling was to keep the weeds down.if you can mulch , then it will work the same.in my garden,we have small spots then the big garden.
in the small spot we mulch, then in the big garden I plow the middles.
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