Soil Experiments: How no-dig systems prevent soil erosion

Ray Archuleta
Monday, 18th June 2012

Ever wondered why rivers and streams are blocked by soil runoff and why plumes of brown water so large that they can be seen from space pour from big rivers into the sea? Ray Archuleta shows the difference between two soils, both from the same area but with very different soil structure. The one has been tilled (i.e., disturbed) while the other is from a no-tilled neighbouring farm that has had cover crops growing every winter. So the soil types are the same but their ecological functionality in terms of cohesion and infiltration capacity are vastly different.

Here we see a slake and infiltration test. The difference is amazing and it shows how healthy soil systems catch and hold water, preventing floods and drought. AS climate change makes our weather more extreme this knowledge will become ever more relevant.

We rest our case, m'lud!

Tee Burton |
Fri, 29/06/2012 - 17:22

what do you use in lieu of tilling? How do you get rid of the cover crop, like clover, when you are ready to plant a garden or crop? How do you control the weeds?