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Most of our main Garden is tilled! Over the last several days, Graham has manhandled our awful (but free!) rototiller thru all four sections of the Main Garden.
Here’s the main vegetable garden. Can you tell that it is separated into four different garden areas? Two upper, two lower. We use a four year garden rotation. Note: These photos are from a few years ago. We now have garlic planted in part of this main garden.
In the fall, we add a good supply of composted horse manure and chicken manure to the whole garden. Then we throw Fall Rye onto the beds and rake it in. Fall Rye is fantastic to use as Green Manure. So is Buckwheat, which I wrote about here.
Come spring time, we like to let the Rye grow about a foot or so before tilling. You could use a weed eater on it, rake it up and feed it to your livestock. We just till it all under and let it improve our garden soil.
Ideally, we would wait a week or two after tilling to start planting and seeding. This would allow the fall Rye enough time to start decomposing. We find that we are either too impatient or time is getting away on us, and we plant sooner. That’s all right to do – the majority of the Rye will decompose and if any start to grow again we just pull them out. Rye is very easy to pull out of the soil.
Here’s the last section getting tilled. Look how nice and tall that Fall Rye is!
Graham put a border of milled boards around the outside of the garden. We are hoping that this will help to keep down the grass that keeps coming in from the yard. It’s been a lot of extra work and we hope it will prove beneficial.
The tiller – this is an old front tine tiller we got for free from friends (who were MORE than happy to see it go). Do you know why? It’s because front tine tillers suck! If you are going to buy one, make sure you get a rear tine tiller. It is much easier on your back.
Now that the garden is all tilled, it is time to start planting! How is your planting coming along? Have you put anything in the ground yet?