A No-Till Test in the Strawberry Plot
A couple of weeks back we planted our strawberry patch for the 2021 season. Every year we put new strawberry plants into the ground as strawberries produce the most berries in their first year. An exciting development this year was the planting of several no-till rows. Using a special farm implement, we are able to drill the plants directly into the soil without first having to till. As you can see above, these plants look like they have already been mulched. In fact, that is several layers of old cover crop that we crimped down and then covered with plastic to kill. Much like a mulch, this cover crop mat helps suppress weeds and hold moisture in the soil.
We understand that untilled soil holds moisture better than tilled soil (very important with our erratic rainfall). To study this more in-depth we have set up a soil moisture reader in both the no-till strawberry patch and the field of our traditionally tilled strawberries a few rows over. The traditionally tilled field will act as the control in our experiments. We will share our findings and the numerous benefits of no-till agriculture as we continue our research and practice of transitioning to being a no-till farm.