Soil health on our farm

How we are moving towards no plowing or no cultivating.

I first over plant a freshly mowed pasture that has been in use for about 2-3 years with rye, white clover and peas using our coulter cart followed by the seed drill. The pasture should be regularly spread with compost that we make ourselves or purchased mushroom compost.

The result of our crimped rye in aug 2023.

The crimping of the rye on the front of the tractor with the no till planter following behind. This system works very well.

This should be done about September 10 with fresh seed or seeds that have been kept dry.

The no till planter with the cement weights. Note the press wheels and on the front of the unit is the row cleaners which has you can see are very effective.

Summer of 2023 and crimped rye.

In the spring when the rye is flowering we Plant Sunflowers into the Crimped rye with a crimper on the front of the tractor and no till planter behind with row cleaners. With this method I am discouraging weeds, planting clovers and peas with the rye which will show up in the following fall after harvest of the sunflowers and the resultant field will have a layer of crimped rye for our horse pasture which follow our sunflower harvest . I will then over plant a hay mixture with alfalfa in a hay mixture a few seasons later.

The crimped rye for 2023 looks very successful but it was not successful in the year 2022 as it was a poor field and just after I planted there was no rain for 6 weeks and I did not get a load of organic tekmac on the field a couple of weeks after planting. (7 % organic nitrogen) but I did plant it with a liquid amino acid.

The system of crimping the rye on a front 3 point hitch and following with the no till planter on the rear three point hitch works well in good healthy soil. See the web page This has worked well in 2023 as the field I planted the rye for crimping was a field of alfalfa for a number of years. Learning how to manage weeds without chemicals is very important. After the sunflower harvest the field becomes a pasture for the horses which is over planted with a pasture mix. This years field after harvesting the sunflowers was populated with lots of clover from the last fall planting of clovers and grasses. The pastures are clipped by the horses drawn sickle mower which keeps the weeds from going to seed.