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Organic Gardening – Soil

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ctb619 says:

@kittycatcarley I wouldn't characterize tilling as bad in all situations, as it is useful on large-scale agricultural operations and when initially trying to improve poor soils (e.g. working in compost). But if your goal is sustainable small scale food production with as few inputs as possible (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides etc.), tilling should be avoided. There are some great youtube videos on No Dig Gardening and Permaculture, both of which stress minimizing soil disruption.

Cat Brown says:

@ctb619 ahh… interesting. is moderate tilling good or is all tilling bad?

ctb619 says:

One of the most insidious effects of excess tillage is the loss of carbon bound in the soil in the form of humus. Oxygen is necessary to soil life, of course, which is a major reason we work to improve aeration in soil through creation of looser, more open “pore structure.” Excessive exposure of the soil to oxygen, however, as occurs in heavy tillage, leads to oxidation of the carbon (humus) content and its loss to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.(from: themodernhomestead.us)

Cat Brown says:

@ctb619 how?

ctb619 says:

Tilling destroys topsoil.

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