It is better for your plants if you can plant immediately after tilling. When the soil has been turned over through ploughing or roto-tilling, nutrients are exposed to air and light; this causes them to become oxidized, damaging their nutrient value and availability. By digging up and turning over clumps of soil so that new ones can be formed, you lose the ability for water to infiltrate the soil easily.
As a result, your soil becomes hard and dry, which is bad for your plants. Planting right after tilling gives the roots of your plants access to more nutrients because tilling allows them to become exposed to new sources of nutrients, as opposed to just turning over clumps of already exposed nutrient-rich dirt.
Benefits of planting immediately after tilling
1. Planting immediately after tilling allows you to plant in moist soil.
One reason that tilled soil loses moisture so quickly is that the act of tilling breaks up capillary action, holding precious water near roots.
When you plant directly into softened dirt, your seeds stand an excellent chance of absorbing these stores before they dry out completely. This means faster growth rates and healthier plants.
2. Planting in moist soil is good for seeds and for the micro-organisms that live in the soil.
Seeds placed into dry, compacted dirt have a much harder time germinating than those planted into rich, loamy soil full of organic nutrients and water.
At the same time, many of the beneficial microbes and fungi required to make your garden thrive don’t survive unless they can get to pockets of moisture in the ground. When you plant immediately after tillering, you give these organisms their best chance at survival and growth.
3. The physical properties of planting directly reduce crusting.
After tilling your soil, there’s almost always some degree of crusting, which keeps it from absorbing water evenly.
Immediately after you sow, however, your seeds have a chance to get down deep from the beginning. This leaves the upper crust of dirt exposed to rainfall and reduces crusting that develops over time.
4. Planting immediately after tilling allows for a stronger root structure in plants.
When you allow seedlings to develop a strong taproot before transplanting them into your garden, you give them a much better chance at survival.
Healthy taproots grow straight down toward the water table while anchoring themselves firmly in place with lateral roots. Since these roots are developed before they hit the soil, you eliminate transplant shock when harvesting crops from your garden.
5. It’s good for weeds.
Once all your seeds are planted, you can reduce the amount of weed competition in your garden by covering your rows with black plastic or other coverings.
This blocks out sunlight and creates a barrier that kills off sprouting weeds before they mature. It also keeps soil temperatures cool, slowing seed germination even further.
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6. Planting immediately after tilling allows for better moisture retention between rains.
When you plant directly into soft dirt, you retain more water than if it were allowed to harden again first. Once plant roots absorb this initial moisture, it’s much less likely to evaporate quickly during dry spells unless the weather gets very hot.
This gives your crops an excellent chance of developing deep root structures capable of supporting healthy growth rates no matter what kind of climate you live in.
7. It’s good for clay soils.
One of the benefits of planting directly on softened soil is that your seeds stand a much better chance against seedling diseases.
At the same time, it keeps your dirt from becoming too fine and making it difficult for air to get into roots while still allowing them to absorb water. By preventing crusting, you also reduce or eliminate problems with dust blown by strong winds.
8. Planting immediately after tilling means you can more easily select healthier crops earlier on.
If you plant directly into soft soil, there’s a far greater chance that your healthy seeds will germinate quickly instead of rotting in wet or dry areas where they have no business being.
You can more easily spot and remove them before they take root and cause problems while allowing the rest of your plants to develop without interference. This makes it much easier to select crops that grow at optimum rates, fight off pests and disease, and otherwise perform better than weaker plants.
9. It’s good for raised beds.
While planting directly on softened soil is good for regular garden plots, it’s even more beneficial when you’re planting in raised beds. These areas tend to dry out more quickly than lower-lying spaces between plants, which means your plants tend to suffer from transplant shock during dry spells.
Planting directly into soft dirt reduces this risk considerably by mitigating water loss between sunny periods so that your seeds can get enough moisture to take root.
10. It’s good for planting successions.
One of the best benefits of planting directly after tilling is planting several crops at once instead of wasting space between plantings.
By crushing up shells and weeds beforehand, you reduce or eliminate weed competition that might otherwise slow down growth rates or cause problems with pests later on. After planting the seeds, just put down a thin layer of mulch to keep soil temperatures low without interfering with seed germination.
You can plant immediately after tilling, and the benefits of planting again outweigh any potential disadvantages. Overall, you’ll be happier with your plants if you do pre-plant preparation by tilling followed by immediate planting.