BrightNest's mission is to make homeowners happy.

FREE, START NOW

BrightNest's mission is to make homeowners happy.

Our tips and tools will shape up your home & simplify your life.

To Till or Not to Till: A New Way to Prep Your Garden

667

FAVORITED

SHARE
FROM
Amy Thomson
05.09.16

Before you start digging up your garden to till it for spring, put down the shovel and consider this: What if someone came into your home with a rake and caused a ruckus? Wouldn’t be conducive to healthy behavior afterwards, right?

Aggressive tilling may actually cause more harm than good for the worms and eco-system of your garden—and there’s a gentler way to prep for potatoes and tomatoes.

Here are a few reasons you should consider ditching the till method:

Tilling Disturbs the Worms

Tilling the soil causes a violent earthquake for your worm tenants that are diligently maintaining the soil. I’m talking about the kind of earthquake that ends with everything from the shelves on the floor and the furniture tipped on its side.

Tilling Invites New Weeds

While tilling is meant to remove weeds, it also creates opportunity for old weed seeds that are buried in the bottom of the soil to take new life. When they are exposed to the sun they germinate and a new generation is born.

Tilling Makes for a Thirsty Garden

Tilling can actually reduce water retention, which is incredibly important to your garden’s health. For the same reason it disrupts the worms in the soil, it puts a fork in the natural aeration and drainage.

Now, here’s how to go forth without tilling your garden:

1. One-time prep for a no-till garden: If you’re new to the no-till trend, or this is your first garden, all soil needs to be prepped for plotting. Dig at least one foot deep to remove any rocks, weed roots, or obstructions. This process should only be done once, the following years you will simply add to the existing soil.

2. Add new soil: Just drop it right on top.

3. Mix in some compost: Make a new soil + compost cocktail by gently stirring your new ingredients with a rake.

4. Top it off with mulch: You can use dry leaves, straw or grass clippings. This last step keeps the soil moist and soft and helps to kill weeds. Try grass this year, it adds nitrogen which will help your future plants grow.

5. Remove the mulch to plant: When you are ready to plant seeds, remove the mulch in areas where your plants will grow. Be sure to pull the mulch back from vines, but it’s not necessary to remove it entirely throughout the season.

Pro Tip: Add bricks or little stepping-stones to your garden bed. Not only will it add flare, it’s a good way to create a forever pathway around your precious veggies so you won’t step on the roots!

comments powered by Disqus
Already a member? Sign In

WELCOME TO

BRIGHTNEST

Take our 60 second Home Quiz to

unlock custom tips and local offers!

Which of these do you have in your house?

(Please select all that apply)

KIDS
PETS
NEITHER

What else do you take care of?

(Please select all that apply)

EXTERIOR
POOL
BASEMENT
LAWN/GARDEN
GARAGE
ATTIC

Does your home have a...?

A/C
BOILER
FURNACE
WATER HEATER

What kind of tips do you want for your home?

SAVVY
CLEAN
GREEN
HEALTHY
HANDY
CREATIVE

You're almost done!

Sign up below to see your custom tips.

Next