Any no till market gardeners out there? Help!!
I've been lurking on several forums over the past few months since my husband and I found a house and 2 acres to start our growing on (yay! ). If everything goes as planned, we will close this week. We are planning on growing mostly flowers, with some herbs, for market and CSA. We are hoping to start on a 1/2 acre of the land. We will also have our own garden on the land, not sure how big that will be.
I am really interested in using no till methods for the entire 1/2 acre and the garden, but am feeling intimidated by the size and the amount of materials needed. We will obviously be starting from scratch, no compost pile existing. I've never tried to get my hands on that much organic material at once before. My husband's idea is to just do the no-till one bed at a time, as we find the materials, and put black plastic over the rest of the beds to kill the weeds. Then come spring, use traditional tilling in of soil amendments/cover crops on the beds that we couldn't complete in the no-till way.
Or am I giving up too easily? Can I do the whole 1/2 acre in no-till? Is that reasonable to expect? Is anybody else doing it?
Also, right now the land is a very overgrown pasture, with some weeds as thick as small trees. I know that I shouldn't bush hog, because that would compact the soil, but I don't think the weed-whacker method will do it either. Do I need to learn to use a scythe? And am I correct that the pasture weeds cannot be used as mulch, because they have gone to seed?
Thanks for any and all input you can provide. I can also post this in the soil forum if you think it would be more appropriate. I just wanted to hear from folks who were doing this with larger amounts of acreage.