By: Yoona Lee, Sophie Peng, and Valerie Volodin.
Have you ever thought about the soil in your garden instead of just the plants? Most people usually value what is happening above the ground when they think of agriculture, but today we will change your mind with what we learned about soil during our second plant science class. Today we learned about soil tillage. Although that seems boring, this is a very important issue that needs to be addressed. When soil is tilled, the soil particles are broken down for easier planting. Unfortunately, tilled soil is more easily washed away by water and is overall considered not as healthy as not tilled soil. Also, tilled soil reduces the space between the aggregates, restricting the amount of water that can be absorbed within the ground and ease with which plants can sprout roots. With all this in mind, non-tilled soil is still not the best solution. Some plants, such as potatoes, cannot grow without disturbing the soil which forces farmers to use tilled soil anyway. Since many cash crops can only be grown in tilled soil, it has become more common than non-till. Even though many farmers are trying to convert their soil back to it’s original no-till state for healthier soil, it takes a long time. Since most of agriculture, from planting to cows, surrounds the soil, it is crucial that we keep this non-renewable resource healthy.