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The HGCA has just launched a publication with information for growers on the pros and cons of no-till techniques.
I noticed in a forum thread a while ago that this is something people have been trialling and having some success with. < ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />Maybe you could update us with your progress? I think it is a concept that could have a lot to offer growers. The publication can be found here – http://www.hgca.com/document.aspx?fn=load&media_id=7733&publicationId=8902
Same as kf. As stated in the article, not all soils are suited to direct drilling. I have been doing an experiment in the household garden area for six years now. I use narrow beds because it suits me and I have reserved one as no-dig, which equates to no-till. I make an experimental trial hole with a pocket knife every now and again. The top two inches is OK, but below that it is a very dense soil. Weeds are no less than elsewhere, but I admit that on such a small area wind-blown seeds are very likely. Root depth of crops is poor compared with my usual dig as deep as possible, or on the agricultural side, cultivate as deep as possible. I think part of the reason for this is that when cultivating at depth, and especially if working in manure (I also grow “green” manures rather than leave land bare, but am not impressed with them) then the incorporation of soil nutrients and organic matter improves the soil to a much greater depth than just mulches, which occur with good management, if following no-till.