Your garden looks awesome! I relate to all the points you brought up, and my newest joy of joys is drip irrigation. That has changed my life, the plants grow better, I can direct seed things in the desert more easily - I love it.
Year round gardening in one spot really is a huge benefit of no-till. Your question got me thinking about others, here's my addition:
No-till and Permaculture gardening allows you to establish a novel ecosystem.
The ecosystem keeps living plants in the ground year round, this builds soil tilth and habitat for organisms both above and below ground. Some of the benefits of building an ecosystem using no-till and permaculture methods are, in my experience:
- Pollinators and insect predators are attracted to your garden and able to thrive. Pest insects eventually are no longer pests, in my experience with this type of gardening.
- Building tilth. As each plants each fulfills its roles, soil pH stabilizes and more and more nutrients become available for all of the plants and organisms to use.
- The garden becomes lower maintenance with time and requires fewer inputs. I will qualify that statement - as long as you don't let very aggressive plants that you don't want a lot of reseed themselves, the garden becomes lower maintenance with time. A friend who is an excellent gardener taught me that when I was young and starting out. Seems so simple a concept, yet it's easy to forget.
Here's an ecosystem my husband and I started in 2021. The beds were done "zai pit" style, or desert hugels. The beds are dug out about a foot and a half deep, filled with any compostable material we had on hand (mostly brush from the property), then the topsoil put back with the intent of making sunken beds. Desert ground termites, crickets, cockroaches and fungus do the work of composting in the ground. There are no earthworms here, so these are the larger composting organisms.
Some of the beds were overfilled a bit - it's always a guess as to how far the in-ground compost will sink. We overestimated on some, so they are slightly raised still. They will likely sink more, and in the meantime we just fortified the fencelines and fenceline beds so water cannot escape he garden as a whole.
The entire garden is made to catch water. The outer fencelines have rock bunds to help keep in water and plant material, and animals out. The garden is placed between two rooflines, catching a little over 1000 sq ft of roof runoff. The garden also catches some of our driveway runoff.
This garden attracts loads of animals - pollinators, predators and of course prey. This year the plant diversity in the garden is about doubled from last and we haven't seen many of the typical plant pests this year - though we had them last year at this time. I did have a few aphids go after one of the Daikon radishes that were growing for seed this year, but the ladybugs and lacewings appeared quickly and the problem solved itself. I love that.
There are the most amazing variety of ants here. Some of the ants in the garden guard certain plants for plant exudates they collect, some compost fallen leaves, and others collect seed and return that concentrated phosphorus to the soil. Bio-available phosphorus is needed in our desert location, as soils are either deficient or it's unavailable to many plants.
Lizards and birds are all over this little garden gobbling away at bugs each day. We also get to see special birds each year that are migrating through. This isn't our first garden on this property, we've been here improving the landscaping and gardening starting in 2019. We've seen that migrating birds are now seeing this spot as a "regular" stop over. For example, last year near this time I saw an Audobon-Myrtle warbler intergrade (hybrid). I could only distinguish it because it hopped up so close to me in the garden. That's an unusual bird to see in our location. This year another (or the same?) showed up in the garden around the same time of year, hunted about and moved on! It's very fun to see these things and the garden allows for many close encounters with nature.
So to me, the biggest plus of no-till gardening is creating an ecosystem for all to benefit from while growing food year round. That's not really different than what the original poster is saying, I'm just leaning more towards the value of the ecosystem one can create when you stop tilling.