• Manisha Lath Gupta

No Till Farming in Permaculture: Wheat

Updated: Apr 12

In the winter of 2014, we planted wheat in one of our plots by slashing the bajra crop on top of the seeds, and not tilling the land as an experiment. We wanted to see if Masanobu's technique would work for us. Here is what we found.

In a couple of weeks, as the wheat seeds germinated, the plants started growing thick and lush through the mulch of the bajra. This plot had the added advantage of fewer weeds, and required lesser watering.

wheat sprouting

Look, you can see the remains of the bajra mulching the soil here!

masanobu fukuoka

The crop grew strong and robust.

wheat crop standing

A tad better compared to the standard tilled plots, which had a higher incidence of weeds.

wheat crop in field

Finally, it was time to harvest this crop, and compare how it had done versus its 'tilled' cousins.

wheat crop ready for harvest

As you can see in the photo below, the right hand side is from the 'no till' plot. And the one on the left is from the tilled plots. The no-till technique not only worked, but produced better quality grain as well. The only problem was that we cut the wheat from the base while harvesting it. This prevented us from planting the next crop by slashing the crop, and not tilling the soil. We could not repeat this experiment with any other crop other than bajra.

harvested wheat