A super simple question. I am starting a small vegetable farm (1.5 acres) in southern California on land currently covered with grasses and small shrubs. See the attached photo. The soil is decent, with plenty of water available. I know there are issues with tilling (it breaks up soil integrity), but would tilling make sense initially just to loosen up the soil and break up the grasses/shrubs? Are there any alternatives to tilling for a 1.5 acre piece of land? Of course, I'm familiar with sheet mulching but that only seems possible for smaller scales. Any help welcome! Thank you!
1) Deep MulchRuth Stout, Back to Eden, or Jean Pain cover all with thick mulch creating a clean slate. I have done this and took about 18 inches of wood chips to gain the upper hand on what was already growing. I then dug out holes in that and put in compost and grew.
2) Tarps / plastic / sheets of tin. You can solarize the area to kill off what an you don't want there. Tarps are a great way to kill off what you don't want.
3) Till then do the above. Some first till then do steps 1,2. Others Cover with a tarp kill off, then water, allow weeds to grow then kill off again to gain the upper hand. Often on stubborn weeds I have had to dig out the roots to have full control.
Life on a farm is a school of patience; you can't hurry the crops or make an ox in two days.