For a long time, gardeners have relied on tilling as the most preferred method of gardening since it allowed them to plant more seeds faster and more efficiently.

However, as environmental activism and climate change issues start to take center stage, tilling is now increasingly being viewed as a bad agricultural practice due to its negative impact on the environment.

Now agricultural experts are re-introducing an old-age traditional method of gardening known as no-till gardening.

For many farmers, the no-till method is a common agricultural practice in large-scale farming that eliminates digging altogether and requires less disruption of the soil.

So, to get a proper understanding of what no-till gardening entails, let’s take a look at the important facts of no-till gardening and how it might be of benefit to you as a gardener.

Important Facts about No-Till Gardening

To get a good grip on the important facts about no-till gardening, we have to ask ourselves the following questions:

  1. No-till gardening wood chips, what do they do?
  2. How to do no-till gardening over weeds

iii. What is the best mulch for a no-till garden?

  1. What is the difference between till and no-till gardening?

Answers to these questions will help you understand the basics of no-till gardening and its necessity in modern agricultural practices. So, let’s dive into the questions.

No-till gardening wood chips, what do they do?

In no-till gardening, wood chips are often an important layer of mulch that is spread on top of the soil to help the plant seed grow faster.

As a good gardener, understanding no-till gardening woodchips and what do they do is important in this comprehensive guide.

Unlike other organic or inorganic mulch options, no-till gardening woodchips often break down very quickly if applied at a depth of 4 inches and 6 inches on the soil.

This helps in suppressing weed growth, reduce soil erosion and retain moisture, which is good for soil fertility and germination of the plant.

How to do no-till gardening over weeds

Many people ask, what if you don’t have any woodchips in the area? How do you get rid of the weeds taking over your no-till garden?

Well, let us show you how do to no-till gardening over weeds through five simple steps:

  1.  Using your hand or a cutting tool, pull or cut off aggressive weeds growing in the area.
  2. Remove any debris in your garden that can interfere with the planting process.
  3. Spread a layer of hay, leaves or any compost available in the area over the soil to help suppress any weed growth.
  4. Plant your desired seed in the soil and cover a light compost over the seed.
  5. Water the area your seed is planted and ensure your soil is moist enough for successful germination. 

What is the best mulch for no-till gardening?

If you’re an experienced gardener, you must’ve known there are many types of mulch ranging from organic to inorganic mulch.

Organic mulches are materials derived from organisms that were once alive such as wood chips, straws and pine bark. Inorganic mulches, on the other hand, are materials derived from non-living organisms such as recycled glass, rubber and stones.

So, with these facts in mind, you may ask yourself, what is the best mulch for no-till gardening?

Well, that’s an easy question.

If you want to be a good gardener, you would want to consider organic mulch such as woodchips or straws. This is because they decompose faster than inorganic mulch and help improve soil fertility very fast.

What is the difference between till and no-till gardening?

As a gardener, you may be asking yourself, what is the difference between till and no-till gardening.

Well, to answer this question, let’s first define the two methods of gardening.

Simply put, tilling is defined as the process of turning over at least 6 inches to 10 inches of soil before planting any crops or seeds. While no tilling is simply the process of eliminating digging altogether to preserve the structure of the soil.

With these definitions in my mind, the main difference between till and no-till gardening is that no-till gardening preserves the organic matter of the soil while till gardening disrupts the organic matter.

With all the important facts about no-till gardening at your fingertips, it is also imperative to explore the role it plays in vegetable gardens.

No-till gardening vegetable garden

No-till gardening in vegetable gardens has become a very useful tool, especially when faced with issues of weed infestation and soil infertility.

Unlike chemical pesticides and herbicides in conventional gardening, no-till gardening in vegetable gardens relies on layers of mulch to successfully suppress weed growth.

A study by the University of Hampshire discovered that the no-till gardening technique was effective in getting rid of weed growth. They observed 100 percent weed elimination after six weeks of planting.

Therefore, there is no doubt that gardeners specializing in vegetable gardening should consider a no-till gardening method to suppress weed growth and improve soil fertility as a result.

No-till gardening tools

For gardeners concerned about no-till gardening tools, all the tools gardeners need for no-till gardening already exist.

Rakes, hoes, and cultivators are the most common types of no-till gardening tools that are absolutely necessary.

If you want to loosen the soil surfaces of your no-till garden, a hard rake and hoe are the perfect tools to do that job.

However, cultivators come in handy when breaking up clusters of soil and containing moisture and air in the soil.

No till-gardening pros and cons

Just like any other gardening technique, you need to be aware of the following no-till gardening  pros and cons

Pros of no till gardening

  • No-till gardening reduces soil erosion, which preserves the soil structure during and after the planting process.
  • Reduced soil disruption due to no-till gardening increases organic matter in the soil and enhances fertility.
  • No-till gardening requires less labor and equipment during planting, which saves on time and cost for gardeners.

Cons of no till gardening

  • No-till gardening depends too much on organic mulch or wood chips, which may be scarce in some areas.
  • For large-scale gardening, the fertility of the soil takes time to improve with no-till gardening techniques.
  • No-till gardening can encourage host diseases to be carried from one plant to another, thus infecting the entire crop.