Does No-Till Gardening Work with Hard Soil?


hard ground beneath mulch 

Even after all her work, Elizabeth only has about 5 inches of decent material with a super-hard layer beneath.

No-till gardening is the hottest thing since faux wood panels on station wagons. It builds soil life, increases the worm population, allows fungi to create channels through the soil, and it makes you appear hip on the internet.

I've had great success with deep mulching hard ground in annual gardens and in food forests. Yet it doesn't always work out the way you would like.

My friend Elizabeth has a beautiful garden in which she has practiced no-till gardening for three years. Yet she confessed to me that all is not well and she's discovered some things that have made her question her deep mulch approach. I drove over to her house earlier this week and filmed a video where I let her share exactly the problems she was facing with drainage, roots not going deep enough and more.

You can watch that video here - it's a beautiful garden, but you can also see the problems.

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