When using a broadfork to cultivate the soil should one also cultivate the...

Asked April 20, 2014, 6:59 PM EDT

When using a broadfork to cultivate the soil should one also cultivate the top 3 to 4 inches of the bed to allow for the planting of seeds? Also if last years corn or sunflower stumps are in the garden can one plant seeds around the stumps or should they be removed? Thanks Chuck A

Leelanau County Michigan

1 Response

Well Chuck, most people choose to prep their soils fully before planting vegetables, but if your asking if you can do it without, the answer is yes, but the end result may or may not be uniform.

You can also plant around last years "stumps" but again the outcome may or may not be uniform. They can affect moisture holding along with soil temps which can affect an even germination, especially early in the year. For more on sowing corn at the right time and soil temp, check out the following link: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/corn_requires_favorable_soil_temperature_for_uniform_germination_and_em...

Further, planting with little soil prep as you are planning to do, my guess is that you know nothing about available nutrients in the soil for your corn. There simply is no other way to determine nutrient levels or amendment recommendations without a soil test. Suggestion is to acquire a soil test, preferably every three years. You can learn more at: http://www.msusoiltest.com/

Good luck!