Instructables

Easiest way to till a garden without a till??

Hello there, Just wondering if anyone out there has any good ideas for how I could till my garden without actually having a tiller. Any creative idea??

eyerobot4 years ago
I learned about no till farming since reading Georion's post, And it sounds very compelling. The only problem I forsee with my very hard land, Is it would take years of no till farming, Before the land is usable.

So I was considering a combination of till/no till farming, Where I break up the soil initially with a tiller, Then lay down composting materials in very deep layers, Using cardboard of course to kill grass, and weeds. And on top of it all i put hay, Which is very easy to get around here. And then in the spring, I take small amounts of soil from my many composters, And plant each seedling in a couple handfuls of compost, On top of the hay.

This should feed the plants properly, Without giving the weeds too much of a chance, And at the same time convert this terrible sandy dirt that I have, Into something better. At least in theory this should work. If not I'll be posting my failure next fall.

The thing i liked about no till farming, Was that it uses cardboard as a base to kill grass and weeds, And all of us have an unlimited source of cardboard boxes from all of the dollar stores around, That are too cheap to buy compactors, They will almost pay you to take their boxes away.

This is a great question you asked here, And something ive spent months researching myself. Now lets hope I can make it work on a fairly large scale, I have three acres to plant this coming spring.
Try a hog tiller!

We let the pigs loose in the garden in fall and spring and within a day they will have rooted up and ate anything left in the ground and have the soil nice and tilled.  A quick rake over and your ready to plant.

They also fertilize the bed as they till so win-win!

If you are interested in simple homesteading ideas and off grid ides visit my website and watch my videos:

http://www.simplesolarhomesteading.com


georion5 years ago
Google / research " no till gardening! " look at msjumpin's comment--lay down newspaper and leaves , compost ,grass clippings whatvever Late summer /fall then next spring plant--no till- go ahead---google/research
msjumpin5 years ago
You might consider not tilling. Tilling increases weeds. I have started several gardens by covering ground with cardboard or newspaper. Of course you have to put soil on top, but this might improve your soil in the long run.
3leftturns5 years ago
If the garden is small, a sharp spade and a bit of time works quite well, also they have things called 'cultivators' which are just pitchforks. I've had experience with 'the garden claw' a commercial hand tiller, but I find the best luck with a spade and nothing fancier.
wheatabx (author)  3leftturns5 years ago
thank-you!