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Tilling and Plowing

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Tilling and Plowing

Post by 12acrehome on Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:14 pm

Tilling; the act of pulverizing soil into a powder of large particles. Used to incorporate amendments into the soil.

Plowing; The act of turning soil over so that weeds and trash from previous growth is buried to compost into the soil.

Cultivation is a term for either plowing or tilling when done to a shallow depth.

Plowing can be done either in the spring or the fall. Plowing heavy soils is most effective if done in the fall, to a depth of 10 to 16 inches and left rough, as turned by the plow, to winter over, will help break up the soil and allow snow melt to deeply penetrate the soil and being heavy soil will retain that moisture instead of allowing the melt to just run off carrying nutrients with it. With light or sandy soils, or in areas prone to erosion Fall plowing is never recommended. It would leave the soil exposed to erosion and the loss of top soil. Spring plowing is best done weeks or even a month before the desired planting time. In the spring the plow should run to a more shallow depth than used in the fall. 6 to 10 inches is preferred and the only purpose is to bury old growth, mulches, and cover crops.

In either case tilling works best when the tiller follows the plow. Since even deep tilling only reaches 8 inches deep and more commonly 4 to 6 inches it leaves larger clumps in the soil structure that holds air. These open spaces allow roots to go more deeply than they normally could. The finer top particles help hold moisture in the soil structure by capturing what would be lost to evaporation. If mulch is applied over this layer, even more moisture can be maintained within the soil, and the mulch will also provide nutrients to the plant as it decomposes. Tilling should be done twice or even three times prior to planting the seed bed. Ideally a shallow tilling would occur 12 to 14 days prior to the desired planting date. About a week later a deep tilling (max tiller depth) should be done. These two tillings are for weed control, and to aerate the soil. The seeds and seedlings can be planted at this time, but if you wait another 3 to 5 days and shallow till one last time you will have a head start on weed control. The day after you plant, cultivate the entire area including where you planted seeds. A 1/2 inch deep cultivation will get the last of the early weeds. As your seedlings emerge and grow to 1 to 2 inches cultivate between rows and apply mulch.

That's what I learned on the farm.
Very Happy

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

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Re: Tilling and Plowing

Post by Rohn on Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:12 pm

Good information. Thanks Keith.
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Re: Tilling and Plowing

Post by PlainFolk on Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:32 am

Very nice to know! I think most folks I know use the two terms as the same thing. Nice to know the "official" difference.
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Re: Tilling and Plowing

Post by 12acrehome on Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:25 pm

This video shows very well how the soil is rolled or turned over by the plow. As you watch you can see how the soil is cut in a sheet and then rolled into the furrow left by the previous passing of the plow

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lR0kiFAGg2o&feature=g-all-c&context=G25f19f3FAAAAAAAADAA

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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Re: Tilling and Plowing

Post by Rohn on Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:42 pm

Enjoyed the video. Thanks Keith.
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Re: Tilling and Plowing

Post by 12acrehome on Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:10 am

bump

since I am posting how to and discussion videos, this seemed relevant again

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Proverbs 28:19  He who works his land will have abundant food...

Genesis 1:29  Then God said,"I give you every seed bearing plant on the face of the whole earth, and every tree that has fruit with seed in it..."

http://christiancountryramblings.com/
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