[tomato] No-Till

Paul Reynolds (Tomato@GlobalGarden.com)
Sun, 07 Mar 1999 00:08:04 -0600


Yes, no till is to not till or use minimum tillage of a field or
garden.  And yes, if you want to add "dry" manure and fertilizer, then
it does need to be incorporated.  With my gardens, I always tried to
employ minimum tillage.  Generally, you do have to till to plant row
crops if the soil is tighter, such as clays, clay loams, loams, sandy
clays and sand clay loams, etc.  You should be able to get a general
idea as to what type of soil you have through your local USDA-NRCS
office (formerly SCS).  They are the ones that publish the soil
surveys.  Most counties in US have been mapped for soil surveys.
Basically, they can give you all the basic information on your soils and
its free.  You just need to be able to locate the location on a map so
they can cross reference it and get the information that you need.

No tilling covers a wide range of definitions.  I try and keep to
"minimum till" as far as giving a name.  It's really difficult to say
what extent would be usable to most folks without knowing something
about the soils being dealt with.  This is where the Ag. Extension Agent
for your county will be handy.  Their services are generally free for
consultation purposes.  They are funded through the University system.

As far as fertilizing after establishment, this would be a question to
ask the Ag Agent as to what they recommend for your area.  Personally, I
generally use dry fertilizers and water 'em in.  I try to apply less
fertilizer at more frequent applications.  There is less loss in this
manner.  General rule of thumb is that any fertilizer applied, there is
a 20% loss almost immediately, and it don't seem to matter too much if
it's a garden or corn field.  By adding less ferti at more frequent
applications, you are feeding the plants along and cutting your losses
even though you are adding to maintenance time for maintaining your
garden.  Clear as mud??  :-))

As far as the Funicide question, here again, I would advise you to talk
to your local experts, be it the Ag Agent or your local nursery.  It's
been several years since I've been involved in production agriculture
research, but I do know that there was extensive research in the area of
"specific" fungicides.  In other words, fungicides that would target
specific fungii and not harm the beneficiaries.

Hope this helps.


Paul Reynolds