Best Gardening Advice

Tilled Soil Contributes to Global Warming?

Did you know that the earth’s soil releases carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 10 times more than humans?  It comes from the pill bugs, microbes, fungi and worms when they breathe, digest food and then die. Although in the past plants have been capable of absorbing carbon dioxide caused by small-scale tillages, this isn’t the case today.
The increase of the globe’s average temperature is because of the carbon dioxide the soil emits when tilled. The good news is that tilling can be minimized by mulching or sheet composting.

Why some farmers are opting for untilled fields

In untilled soil, there is beneficial fungi known as the vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhizae or VAM for short. VAM actually forms a symbiotic relationship with plants.  Their filaments increase root hairs and provide nutrients to the plant.  They give out zinc, copper, potassium and phosphorus.  Plants provide carbohydrates for the fungi in return.  It is possible to grow a garden without tilling the sooiil at all by mulching heavily until the soil is soft and friable.

Surplus Nitrogen

Many gardeners waste nitrogen and manure, farmers only need a quarter to a third of nitrogen to mix with an inch of compost, horse, or cow manure.  Too many gardeners over fertilize their gardens, using more than even farmers do for their large fields. The rule of thumb is, less is better. Don’t over fertilize as this will burn out and ruin crops. Find out through research what your plants need and feed on the low side as to not waste fertilizer or money.

When gardening do all things in moderation, be careful of overdoing, or not doing enough, and research the plants you are wanting to grow to find out the best soil conditions for them so you end up with the garden of your dreams and not the one in your nightmares!  Above all have fun!! Gardening is about learning and relaxation, the saying “you reap what you sow” is very true, so do you best and in the end you will enjoy the bounty.

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