The process of tilling a garden is basically just turning over the soil as a way to add new oxygen through aeration. When the soil has been aerated before the garden planting process, it allows you to mix in a variety of additives, including compost and fertilizers to help strengthen the soil.
All types of weeds that are beginning to grow in the garden, before the planting season, will need to be removed. Removing the weeds will significantly reduce the amount of nutrient competition for all the growing plants that are eager to obtain as many nutrients as possible out of the soil. There are specific steps to be taken to properly till the soil to ensure a good harvest.
Avoid Wet Soil
It is never a wise decision to till wet soil. This is because it can easily become compacted and clumpy, rather than breaking apart and allowing oxygen to mix with the dirt. This is often a common issue when individuals want to till their garden much too early in the season. It takes time for the spring sunlight to dry out the buildup of water through the winter months, long after the chill and dampness in the soil has left.
To make the determination whether or not the soil is dry to handle the tilling process, simply grab a handful of the dirt to see just how hard it is to compact in the hand. If it is easy to make a ball, then the soil is still too wet. The soil needs to be able to freely crumble in the hand once the pressure of the fingers has been released from attempting to make a ball.
Do Not Over-Till
Over-Tilling the planting soil serves no purpose to the garden and can actually lead to significant issues later in the season. Over-tilling dirt tends to weaken its structure which can increase crumbling and make the soil much more dried out. Tilling should only be performed as an effort to control weeds or to loosen compact dirt when it is time to plant seeds. It also serves as the ideal time to mix in all types of organic matter or as a way to break up harder soil to allow the penetration of water.
There are significant advantages to tilling the soil after the harvest season in late autumn. It allows the available nutrients from the leftover plants and roots to be tilled deep into the soil and break down during the winter months. Typically, the autumn months produce drier soil than the early spring, which makes it significantly easier to till the ground and prepare it for the spring.
There are significant reasons to add nutrients and components of the soil to help enrich it for a better harvest. Tilling the garden is the simplest way to add air and release the nutrients locked deep inside the clumps of soil. By following the above steps, anyone can produce a better harvest of plants, vegetables, fruits and flowers.