Caring for our soil is a top priority on this 6th generation farm. We run a no-till farm operation here at Spring Grove Nursery and on all of our other family farm ground. We have seen the benefits of taking care of the soil for multiple generations now, and it is important to us to keep up this tradition and practice of conservation.
After a new crop of tree liners are planted in the field, we use minimal tillage to prepare the area for our cover crop. Every year around Labor Day, we plant grass strips into our new tree crop blocks. We will be planting our new grass strips soon, and the rain over the weekend has prepared the soil well for our new seeds. We leave the grass strips in place for several years while the trees are growing. After the entire block is harvested we will clean up the block and plant a cover crop of soybeans for a year and let the soil rest. We harvest the soybeans which while growing will add nitrogen back in to the soil. The following season, our new block is ready to plant without any additional tillage needed.
Having soil that is not continually tilled allows for high organic matter content to be built up in the soil. The grass & soybean cover crops also help hold our soil in place from wind and rain erosion. Our soil is one of our most important natural resources here at the nursery, so taking care of it is something we take very seriously. We will be proud to pass this ground on to the next generation. Hopefully along the way we will have taught them to respect the land as much as we have tried to do!