Garden Tidbits - Expert Advice for the Garden and Landscape

Double Digging vs. No-Till Method


no-till gardening This is a photo of the gardens at the Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA. These are raised beds prepared with tillage. This is not the garden where the "incident" took place. The gardens were tilled for more than two decades, but now they do some no-till plantings.

I hate dogma. The reverse spelling of dogma is “Am God”. If there’s anything I’m dogmatic about it is anti-dogmatism.

As an example of dogma, consider French-Intensive Biodynamic gardeners who are often fixated on double digging to a level of unreasonable passion. Take one garden that had been double-dug for over 15 years with countless loads of manure and an endless supply of volunteers and interns. After these 15 years, you could dig the soil with your bare hands. Double-digging persisted. One day a new head gardener proposed no longer digging, just planting ala the no-till methods of Ruth Stout. He was nearly thrown out and one person slugged him. He stayed and prevailed and now many of the beds are no longer arbitrarily double-dug. He has since moved on, but no-till methods continue to be used in parts of the garden.

To learn more about the no-till method, see my ebook No Digging, For a Healthier Soil and a Sustainable Garden - only 3 bucks!




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