Deep Zone Tillage in Vegetable Production

Friday, July 15, 2011

(Please note, we are hosting a Deep Zone Tillage Workshop and Field Tour on July 28th in the Annapolis Valley. Click here for details)

Cornell University researchers have found significant advantages to preparing soils with deep zone tillage (DZT). "After over five years of trials both on farms and at Cornell research stations, we find that DZT supports similar yields to conventional tillage for sweet corn, dry beans, cabbage, squash and pumpkins, reports Cornell Horticulturist Anu Rangarajan. "We've even tested reduced tillage for organic pepper and cabbage production with positive results.

In Nova Scotia deep zone tillage has not been extensively tested. I believe that for similar reason this system might be very useful for preparing soil for many vegetable crops.

In 2011 the first commercial field of winter squash and cauliflower in Nova Scotia were prepared using deep zone tillage until. My initial observations from this system are positive. It is clear that on slopes it reduces soil erosion to a minimum while improving soil drainage.

Below are a few pictures from DZT in winter squash and cauliflower.

Winter rye cover crop after glyphosate treatment

Germinating winter squash in deep zone tillage system

Germinating weeds must be controlled before crop emergence

Cauliflower planted after winter rye cover crop

Any questions, just let me know.