Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forum › Sustainable Living and Land use › Sustainable Farming › Making the best of a no till situation
- November 9, 2013 at 8:44 pm #81548
I attempted to sow oats over ridges for no till garlic and no need to haul straw around later. But the oats grew very tall and lodged one day. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get to the ridges under all those oats, so Sam mowed them and little by little I fed them to the steers.
With all of the oats out of the way I finally got to busting the ridges open today. I used my No. 4 with just a couple of straight points to make 2 little furrows and to sweep the oats out of the way. I had to unclog a few times where the oats lodged bad and wouldn’t clean to the side, but it was not as bad as I had expected. I made two passes just to get where I had skimmed over with partial clogs. I also tried to rig up my water wheels as a dibbler. It worked well but only does straight even terrain. Eventually my cob job broke apart, but at least I was able to get some rows marked. With 2 little furrows marked it should be easy to estimate a clove of garlic every 6 inches, plus there is lots of loose soil so I am hoping that it is easier than last year.
Over all I like the ridges and they break open fairly easy, but if I try the oats again I will plant them later than the first week in August, and aim at getting the garlic in earlier too. I was glad that I could no till and even though I need to use some straw, I also have the benefit of the oat roots holding some of the soil together under the straw for a while. Is was a beautiful after noon and thankfully not as cold and blustery as yesterday.
I also seeded some spelt and vetch as an experimental cover crop. We have so much spelt that we are only planting enough for seed next year as we have 2 gravity bins full and we only use one per year. I managed to get some in 3 weeks ago and the rest today, we will see how it does compared to rye and vetch.
It was nice to get out and get some hands on lines and seeds in the ground. Onward to garlic tomorrow!
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.November 15, 2013 at 7:02 am #81602
I think that looks great. Of course I planted my oats too late without enough growth. Then my ground is pretty wet for horses at this time of year. Planted garlic by hand as usual. I am hoping I can plant onions and leeks into the oats in the spring, with some reduced tillage.November 15, 2013 at 5:59 pm #81609
You should be able to plant into the oats in the spring. That is what I did this year, I had to disc a few times, but I had some serious oat and pea residue to cut through. If yours was planted too late then you should have few problems. The oat and pea residue made a huge difference this year with all of the rain early in the summer, it did a great job holding soil and when the rain stopped it retained a good amount of moisture.
I always plant my garlic by hand, but if I can prep the beds well it makes the job of planting easier, that was certainly the case this year compared to last.
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