The land we’re using for vegetables has been planted to corn for years and has been a low spot that floods for most of that time. Converting it to vegetables is a bit of a project.
One of the tools we’re using is raised beds. The benefits to raised beds for us are mostly three things: 1. Water management 2. Extending the growing season by a week or two because they should heat up sooner and 3. It provides walkways so when we work out there we can reach things without compacting the soil, which means less need for tilling.
Just to clarify for folks who aren’t used to it: in this case raised beds just means plowed parts with lower dirt walkways—no wood or built-in hardware is involved!
We’re using the BCS (an Italian-built, walk-behind tractor) to first dig a walkway with a rotary hoe, then to go back and till the bed.
This year, of course, is a lot of set up. Next year it should mean we need a lot less tilling.