I don't mean to denigrate "no dig" and Charles Dowding certainly gets good results, as does Jean-Martin Fortier and Curtis Stone but I'm not 100% sure it's right for every situation. It works very well where there a mature soil ecology has been built up over time or where the kind of techniques practised by Jean-Martin can be used but in some intensive market garden situations a low till approach can actually outperform it and where you can't purchase the huge silage tarps Jean-Martin uses then tilling the soil can still be beneficial. Even Charles Dowding advocates tillage when first setting up a grow area to rapidly incorporate organic matter, compost and manure. There's an interesting video from Curtis Stone
Weeds can be handled using stale beds and perennials can be killed off by repeated tillage over the course of several months. Cutworms and other soil dwelling larvae can be controlled with pathogenic nematodes quite easily.
On our own land we've moved from fairly intensive tillage to low tillage and are now trying to experiment with shallow tillage but I really wish I had one of these
Shizuman wrote:Any advice on tillers? Ive got about 60 tsubo right now and looking to go bigger soonish so im wondering what people are using,
I like the look of some of the bigger honda gear as they have some nifty looking attachments but just wondering what others are using and whats reccomended!
If you are going large then don't buy a smaller hobbyist tiller, it will be useless later. Honda are good, their engines are fantastic but I'd also recommend looking at something from Iseki, Kubota or Yanmar (if you have the money). Repairs and servicing are far easier for them as they are made for full time farmers and have a wide network of dealers and service centres. There's a list of Iseki tillers here Iseki Tillers
, Yanmar tillers are here Yanmar Tillers
and Kubota tillers are here Kubota tillers
. There's not a lot of difference between Iseki and Kubota, it would largely depend on which dealer is closer to you or which one offers the better service. Yanmar are more expensive but very good quality machines. Think about what uses you want to put it to then perhaps drop into your local dealer and have a chat with them or see if you can get to try one out in their demonstration area.
We have an Iseki KMR 400 tiller which is a good all rounder and I'm very happy with it, does most everything I want of it and we have a Kubota tractor which we're also very happy with. Both are well made agricultural machines that just last and last. Never owned a Yanmar but folk that do highly rate them. Our KMR 400 works as a good general purpose tiller but can also be used to raise beds or dig trenches (which is really handy when planting row upon row of potatoes, we planted over 150kg of seed potatoes and couldn't have done it without the tiller). We have a Mitsubishi tiller that we use to harvest the potatoes, it has a kind of plough attachment that you run along the rows and turns the soil over lifting the potatoes up onto the surface of the ground.
If you want to lay mulch you will either need a special attachment or special mulching tiller or just do that bit by hand but if you are laying lots of rows of mulch then it's much quicker using machinery. If using a mulching attachment or mulching tiller then that should have the facility to lay drip tubing or irrigation hose under the mulch at the same time as it puts the mulch down. Whether you need to use irrigation tubing under mulch will very much depend on your situation, sometimes we do and sometimes not.