Garden soil prep


Everyone does their garden preparation different. Some ways work better for some more than others. The end goal is the same and that is to grow food for you and for others. I'm going to describe how I do it so if someone is new to gardening or having problems then they might try it and see if it works for them.

Disking/tilling. You might find out sooner or later. I'm usually a busy person so I'm lazy with a lot of things but I have the right to be. I use a tractor and a disk but the same principle applies to a tiller of any kind. I use the disk on the most aggressive angle meaning the middle front blades almost tough and the rear ones are angled. I start disking when there is a little moisture in the soil and usually early in the morning.

I work the spoil until the disk axle bottoms out. This works the soil to the depth I like and it brings a lot of spoil up. After that I bring the disk up a little bit and do two/three full passes through the whole garden spot. I keep bringing it up like that until the disk blades barely spin on top of the soil. This breaks up the clumps and makes the soil silky smooth. The smoother the soil the better.

After that the following morning I drop the disk 3/4 of the way down and repeat the process. On the last pass I drop it all the way down again to bring any big clumps back up. Then I let the soil sit for a little while preferably after a little drizzle I adjust the disk blades into the least aggressive angle which means they are in a strait position. Then I hit the soil again doing another 4 or 5 passes in the morning then that after noon. When doing so you fluff the soil and it dries out. When the soil dries out it becomes softer. Then I work the soil again right before I make the rows. I usually end up working the soil at least 40-50 times. You may wonder why I work it so much but I will explain in a minute.

Working the soil like this makes it silky smooth. The softer and smoother the soil the better it absorbs moisture drains and retains. The better nutrients will be absorbed and the better the roots will grow. Another good advantage it has is weeds have a lower chance of coming back and if/when they grow back they take longer to do so. Yes it takes more time but the results work wonders. I worked up a spot last summer that was never used. I worked it up again with the garden spot for this year and it was still soft. As a matter of fact it took me a third of the time to work it than it did the rest of the garden spot.

Making rows. I make the rows for what I plant a week or so before I plant. The reason I do this is beacuse if it rains hard after you plant your rows can erode away and you have to redo them. Making them a week before hand gives them time to settle down so they won't wash away. Even when they settle they are still high enough and soft enough that the plants will still have a excellent start. Also when you put your fertilizer in row it has a chance to activate the same time you plant the seed and when the roots grow they will have fertilizer to give them a boost.

You can do the same thing with any kind of tiller. Any tiller takes longer because you have to go slow. A 3 point tiller is best used in 2nd or 3rd gear at high rpm. I start disking in 3rd gear at 2,000 rpm then switch to fourth gear and 2,000 rpm. Disking is by speed and a tiller is by raw power. I don't use walk behind tiller so I can't give any good pointers for one but I bet someone here could and there is info all over the place on the internet. Experiment what works best for you and good luck on your endeavors.