Master gardener tip of the month

Categories: How To
Published on: November 15, 2017

MGOC Trowel Talk / November 2017

My veggie garden hasn’t been tilled for four years and the soil is very rich and healthy. When I started gardening, I was taught that rototilling or double-digging a garden was the way to get organic matter mixed in and to ensure light, friable soil. Today’s science tells us that turning over the soil is actually bad for it. The mycorrhizal fungi and micro-organisms that make the nutrients and trace elements available to the plants are in that top layer of soil. If we constantly work the soil, we are disturbing those organisms – in effect, we are burying them and cutting off their air supply. New ones will colonize but instead of having a continuous, dynamic, healthy soil, you are constantly starting over.

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