Traditionally, after we add our compost and fertilizer, we turn everything into the soil and then plant our starts. Organic gardeners would do the same thing but some have found that tilling in organic products produces mixed results. We now know that many organic products feed microbes and condition soil. These microbes living in the soil grow into large colonies that do so much to increase soil health. Previous negative results are a direct outcome of disturbing or tilling the soil. As we till, the microbes are displaced and must rebuild their colonies again and resort the infrastructure.
While using organic methods, I have come to the conclusion that tilling is not in the best interest of organic gardening practices. A new practice called the “Lasagna Method” is now gaining popularity. The Lasagna Method involves adding your organic products in layers and then just letting them lie. They will incorporate themselves over time. Organic ingredients, such as mulch, compost and other soil amendments, are spread on the soil, one on top of the other, without tilling in. This leaves the all-important microbial colonies undisturbed. They will do the work of incorporating the amendments for you! DO NOT till under. Plant directly through the layers, water well and watch your garden grow!