Tillage is the act of ploughing or digging up land and then planting crops there. Tilling is often used when it comes to agriculture, but it can also be done for other purposes such as building roads or even creating artificial lakes. Tilling is usually done manually, though machines are sometimes used for this purpose. Tilled soil may contain some organic matter (such as dead plants) which will provide food for microorganisms that grow in the soil over time.
In order to make sure your soil is tilled properly, you need to have a good understanding of what exactly you’re doing. If you don’t, then it could result in your soil becoming unproductive because the organisms that live in it won’t get enough nutrients from it. You’ll also want to ensure that all the roots of any new plants you add are well rooted so they can take advantage of the nutrients available in the soil.
Tillage is the most basic form of farming, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to create a productive farm. Most farmers use tilled soil for their farms because it allows them to work quickly and efficiently without having to spend much time or money on machinery. Tilling requires little skill and can be accomplished by anyone with minimal training.
Tilling is the act of disrupting the topsoil, which is the top layer of soil that’s used for growing crops. When tilling, you’ll be pulling up large clumps of dirt and grass so it’s important that you do this as carefully as possible.
The more topsoil you can keep in the ground, the better off your crops will be. Tilling is a very common practice when it comes to farming, but it isn’t always effective. For example, a farm that has been used for quite some time is not going to grow crops as well if you till the soil. Old growth topsoil is generally helpful and you don’t want to remove it unless necessary.
There are three main types of tillage: moldboard plowing, chisel plowing and row-crop farming. Moldboard plowing is used when you want to create a flat surface after tilling the soil. This process is usually used for breaking up soil that hasn’t been tilled in quite some time. Chisel plowing is also used for breaking up old growth topsoil, though it’s also commonly used for sowing small seeds.
This process involves making shallow scratches in the soil rather than digging deep trenches like moldboard plowing.
When tilling soil for row-cropping, you’ll want to make sure your tilled rows are straight and uniform. This process is done by using machinery such as a plow to break up the soil and then using a harrow to make sure that the new rows are even.
It’s important you have a good understanding of what type of tillage you should use in order to get the best results when tilling soil for your flower bed or farm.
When tilling soil, you have to make sure that the top layer of soil (also known as topsoil) is loose enough for your plants’ roots to easily grow in. If your topsoil is too compact, it may be difficult for your plants to grow and thrive in that area. In some cases, the soil may actually be too weak for plants to thrive in.
In order to till soil, you need a tool called a plow. The plow is a long metal tool with a curved blade on the front. This curved blade can be turned over the soil to loosen it up.
When using a plow to till soil, you have to move the curved blade back and forth through the soil. The main goal is to turn over the top layer of soil in order to make planting seeds or young plants easier to do.
Before you can use a plow on soil, you’ll need to break up the ground. This is known as breaking up the clods, and it’s accomplished by driving the tip of the plow blade into the ground, then lifting it up and bringing it back down. The goal is to do this as many times as possible in order to create an area that’s loose enough for seeds or young plants to grow in.
There are a few different types of plows, but the most common type is called a moldboard plow. These plows are designed to till soil in long rows (also known as furrows), which means that it’s going to be ideal for breaking up large areas of land for farming. While regular plows can be used to till soil, they’re not going to be quite as effective as a moldboard plow.
Aside from the type of plow you’re using, the size of the plow and the size of the land you’re tilling are also important factors to consider. While you can till soil with a smaller plow, it may take you longer to do so. Meanwhile, if you’re using a larger plow for a smaller area of land, this is also going to take you longer.
You’ll need to take these factors into consideration when deciding how long it’s going to take you to till soil, and whether or not you’ll have the time to actually do so.
For most people, tilling soil is a large enough job that it usually requires some help from others. This is especially true for those who need to till large areas of land for farming.
If you’re tilling soil for a small garden, you may be able to do this by yourself. However, larger gardens or farms are nearly impossible to till without help. This is especially true if you want your rows of crops to be straight, which is important for many reasons.
When tilling soil with others, it’s important to assign each person a certain job to do. For example, some people can drive the plow while others can work on breaking up the clods.
If you don’t have the luxury of having others to help you, there are tools that can help you do your job easier and quicker so that you don’t have to work as hard. These tools include things like moldboards, coulters, and sulkeys.
Moldboards are metal blades that are attached to the front of a plow. These moldboards can help you cut through sod (lightly compacted soil) a lot easier than a regular plow. This allows you to till soil faster and makes the job a lot easier overall.
Coulters are small blades that are attached to the front of a plow, right below the share (see plow description for details). These blades churn up the soil as the plow moves forward, which helps to sow the seed evenly.
Sulkies are carts that you hitch animals to and put plows on in order to make them easier to pull. This allows you to till soil without getting completely worn out.
Although these tools can make the job of tilling soil much easier, they tend to be quite expensive. This means that most farmers cannot afford these luxuries, and instead have to work a lot harder.
Plows are one of the oldest, simplest forms of farm equipment. While there are many different types of plows, all of them share the same basic function of breaking up and turning soil.
The first plows were nothing more than sharpened sticks or bones tied to wooden frames and used to turn over the soil (these are still used in some parts of the world).
As time progressed, so did the plows. Bronze and later iron plows were introduced which could break up the soil more efficiently, and also had parts (such as shares) that were able to break up harder clumps of earth.
These iron and steel plows, as well as their successors (including the moldboard plow) are still some of the most widely used forms of plows today.
While the plow is a very simple machine, it’s important that you understand how it works in order to use it effectively and keep it in good working condition.
The first thing to note about a plow is the part known as the “share”. The share is a metal blade that is attached to the front of the plow. The share helps to cut through the soil and turn it over, kind of like a knife cuts through butter.
The share is attached to a long wooden pole known as a “shoe”. The shoe is what actually pushes the soil aside as the plow moves forward.
The part of the plow that does all of the heavy lifting (so to speak) is the “frog”. The frog is a metal wedge that sits under the share, and it’s designed to split the soil.
The “neck”, which is nothing more than a thick metal strip, attaches the share and frog to the plowshare. This strip of metal also helps to stabilize these parts so that they don’t bend when the plow pushes forward.
The part of the plowshare that is below the neck is called the “web”. This area is what reinforces the neck of the plow.
When a plow is first created, it doesn’t go straight into the soil, instead it has to be “broken in” by bending it into the ground a few times. If you try to use an untempered plow right away, it will likely crack or even break in half.
The part of the plow that actually cuts through the soil is the share, but this can only do so much alone. To really get the soil turned over to the point where it is loose and aerated enough to allow seed to be planted, a lot more power is required.
That power comes from a team of horses (or other suitable farm animals) that walk in circles to turn a large wheel known as a “wheel horse”.
The wheel horse is connected by a series of belts and gears to the share of the plow, which in turn slices through the soil as it’s dragged forward.
In addition to breaking up the soil, the plows also serve another vital purpose. In many areas of the world, the soil is very porous and lacking in nutrients. This is especially true in the case of many farming communities where crop rotation is non-existent or not carried out effectively.
The plow helps to mix and aerate the soil, which helps to get oxygen down into the roots of plants, which they need in order to grow. This process is known as “double digging”.
Most farmers who have access to animal power will only use their plows for breaking up the soil. This is because the plow itself is fairly fragile and it’s far easier to put all of your effort into working animals.
Due to the large size and weight of the plow, it doesn’t have enough power on its own to break through the soil. For this reason, plows are only used on loose or soft soils (such as those found in many parts of the realm).
The first type of plow you’re likely to see is the “poleo” plow.
Poleo plows are very basic and cost effective, but they require a lot more elbow grease.
A poleo plow consists of a metal blade (share) that is attached to a long wooden pole (shoe). The pole extends all the way to the handle, which allows the farmer to put weight behind each thrust in order to punch through the soil.
The poleo plow is “broken in” by bending it into the soil a few times. It’s a painstaking process, but eventually the pole will become soft and flexible enough that it can be curved into the soil with ease.
Once broken in, the poleo plow can dig fairly deep into the soil, and since it is relatively cheap, it is a great option for smaller farms or those just starting out.
The second type of plow is the “scratch plow”.
The scratch plow isn’t really a plow at all, but more of a foregone conclusion. It was named as such because it scratches the soil.
The scratch plow consists of a metal blade (share) that has been mounted to a large wooden plank (blade). The blade is connected to the handle by a series of belts and gears and can be dragged through the soil with relative ease.
The primary advantage of the scratch plow is that it’s much cheaper than a poleo plow, but you do sacrifice a lot of depth. If your soil is rocky or hard packed, the scratch plow is ideal since it can be thrust without as much resistance.
The downside to the scratch plow is that due to its light construction, it will likely break after only a few years of use. Of course, this isn’t really a concern for most peasants who likely won’t even be able to afford a plow twice in their entire life.
Oddly enough, the scratch plow is actually better suited for breaking soil than it is for tilling soil. This is because when used for tilling, the share’s thin metal gets easily warped out of shape.
The working conditions of a scratch plow are probably some of the worst. Farmers who use a scratch plow generally have to work in various positions. They’ll either kneel in the dirt and thrust the plow forward with their feet, or they’ll have to half-stand and half-kneel in order to get the most thrust.
The combination of bad working conditions and low durability mean that the scratch plow isn’t very popular. It’s still available though, so any peasant who wants to get one can easily do so.
Oddly enough, scratch plows are more popular in the colder climates of the realm where the soil tends to be rockier and harder to plow. There’s nothing really “soft” about the soil in Rask, but due to all the rocks, there’s a lot of farmers who use scratch plows.
Sources & references used in this article:
conservation gardening that will save you time and money by SSSVS Time – journal of soil and water conservation, 2009 – jswconline.org
Conservation gardening that will save you time and money by J Pohl – 2009 – jswconline.org
Man, Soil, Garden: Basic Plot in Genesis 2-3 Reconsidered by T Stordalen – Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 1992 – journals.sagepub.com
Soil preparation by AX Niemiera, J Freeborn – 2015 – vtechworks.lib.vt.edu
Spare the Tiller, Spoil the Soil by D Miessler – 2020 – Storey Publishing, LLC
Cover Crops for the Home Garden by D Hinkamp – 2001 – digitalcommons.usu.edu
Organic Gardening for Kids by J Hendrickson, J Stute – 2012 – sfa-mn.org
Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! by E Scholl – 2009 – books.google.com
Building Healthy Soil by P Lanza – 1998 – books.google.com