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To Till, or Not to Till, and WHY

 
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
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Time to update my post up above because a lot has changed in 2 years.

The first big change was a big compost shakeout locally which ended up leaving the only decent and available compost including a high percentage of wood chips/shavings and no other choices. Horse bedding from all the high dollar horses around Ocala FL was the feedstock. I was VERY hesitant to try it via the methods above because burying wood here can eat up a good bit of the nitrogen in decomposing.

Before finding the high quality guy I use now, ( Fant Farms, Morriston FL, if anyone local wants to know. Awesome quality grow and lab tested for evil things ) I got a load that was trash quality and way high percentage wood chips/shavings. I threw it on the beds as mulch and noticed something. The compost would wash out and down, leaving a layer of wood that worked well as a mulch.

The Fant farms compost did the same thing but better.  I didn't like it initially because of the wood, but it's all good now.

The wood on top has definitely slowed the disappearance of all the goodie in the compost considerably.

About the same time all this went down I stumbled into Charles Dowdings no-till Youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB1J6siDdmhwah7q0O2WJBg

Charles does essentially the same thing, throw a lot of compost on top and go for it.
He's been doing this for many years so lots of great tips and info on doing it the easier way.

Keep in mind that he's starting on pretty good soil and his latitude. The latitude definitely affects what you can grow and when,and any gardening advice should be tempered with consideration for the advisors latitude. I have to use Steve Solomon's COF fertilizer, or originally used  the Sustain organic fert like a lot of the market gardeners use. because my ground (sand) has nearly zero nutrition.


The other issue is climate change.

Traditional start times and techniques for a lot of things are needing change as things heat up, More attention to severe frost protection is called for also.

From what I read, a lot of the more severe frost incidents are also driven by excess heat doing things like changing the Gulf Stream and the "paving over paradise" problem disturbing water and weather cycles.

As for adapting planting times, this is pretty much a local resource for those of us living around the 29th latitude, and the Gulf of Mexico, but a guy in Houston TX has done major work sorting this out. An excellent example of what will need to be done in the near future for your local conditions. Here's a quick explanation and a PDF you can download:

https://yearroundgardening.me











 
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