Chris Kott wrote:I believe some people use chisel plows to keyline plow their land. I have always thought that this is a good idea, where appropriate, and that if there were a hopper right behind the knives, directing wood chips or other organic matter down to the bottom of the cut, that would basically serve some of the same functions as any buried wood application.
I don't like plastic mulch. I understand why some people think it's necessary, but I don't like it. I think if it is required, there is something wrong with the system. I wouldn't bother with it.
Two ideas I like much better are dedicated pathway areas, spaced exactly so as to accomodate the wheel ruts of the equipment you're using, all planted with soil-building plants that hold onto soil structure really well. I haven't nailed down the species yet, but I think that non-seeding, non-spreading comfrey people like to use for edging on their naturally bordered beds would do really well, along with green manure crops selected for long period of growth, such that you roll them down or mow them before they go to seed.
You could alternately have alternating strips of raised beds and fallow green manure and soil-building mix. You could rest the fallow strips a whole season, and if done on-contour, they would hold onto a massive amount of the topsoil regular working would otherwise rob from you.
If you are looking to build soil at an increased rate, as suggested by the amendments you want to till in, I can understand you not leaving permanent fallow strips, as you'd want, at some point, to put biochar and stuff there, too, if you want to work faster than the worms. But that is also an option, working only the beds, amending them to the hilt, and boosting soil life, specifically worms and appropriate fungi, and relying on that boosted soil biology to move everything to the undisturbed strips between. This would offer the advantage of holding the structure of the land better, and would better enable soil life to recolonise the worked strips or raised beds after tillage.
The equipment you're using looks interesting. Honestly, there are areas that exist on earth where just running that blue thing on-contour would result in enough texturing of the land to cause re-greening of whatever type is natural. I think that the microclimates it offers you aren't to be overlooked, especially if you read your land right as it pertains to the sheltering effects of that texture.
Please keep us posted, and good luck.