Thursday, March 7, 2013

Severe Drought

We are still 20+ inches below normal on rainfall where we live here in Rochester, Minnesota. That is a serious lack of moisture. One of the things that can do to make the best use of the moisture we have is to add organic matter to our soils in the form of compost. Organic matter holds up to 8x its weight in water and stabilizes the soil so the rainfall the does occur is well utilized.

We also minimize tillage under these conditions. Tillage opens the soil and allow a higher level of evaporation from the soil and also creates a highly oxygenated condition that oxidizes the organic matter in the soil.

We put a strip of compost where we want to plant and plant right into the compost.  The weed free compost provides an ideal growing environment around the baby seedlings and holds moisture. When the weeds come later in the season, a stirrup hoe will kill the weeds and only disturb the soil down about an inch.

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