Soil Amendments

Tilling My Gardening in the Pacific Northwest


bslaz added on February 14, 2018 | Answered

Thank you in advance for any information you can give. I am trying to go to the next level and add a hoop house to my garden to extend my growing months. I live in the Pacific northwest and i took all my leaves and put them in my garden. The leaves have not yet decayed so i was thinking of renting a rototiller and tilling them into the soil. I wanted to do it before i constructed the hoop house. My questions are, should i till the leaves in? Is it okay to till when the soil is wet?


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ANSWERS
MichiganDot
Answered on February 16, 2018

It is best to shred leaves first with a dedicated shredder or a mulching mower. If not shredded, some tree leaves mat together and get slimy but not break down. Since they are probably soggy right now, I'd toss them onto the compost heap. Tilling in non-degraded / composted material is not a good idea. In fact the benefits of a no-till garden are proving better than putting in all that effort and tilling everything. Soil scientists have shown that tilling to make that nice, fluffy soil is not a good practice. Look up no-till gardening.

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