Ken Laing – Organic No-Till Vegetable Trials


Ken Laing of Orchard Hill Farm is comparing different winter-killed and rolled cover crops and mulching systems to reduce tillage and maintain continuous cover for transplanted and direct seeded organic vegetable crops. 

Guiding Principles
  • Reduce tillage for organic vegetable production
  • Use a mechanized approach suitable for mid-scale vegetable grower (i.e. 10-50 ac)
  • Avoid the use of agricultural plastic materials
No-till Strategies Used
  1. Planting or transplanting into winter killed cover crops
  2. Planting or transplanting into green cover crops either before or after termination
  3. Planting or transplanting into deep compost mulch (DCM)
Research Strategies Used
  • 2020 | A broad survey or proof of concept of many strategies and crops to narrow down promising combinations.
  • 2021 | Demonstration plots of the most promising combinations from 2020
  • 2022 | Randomized, replicated plots of the demonstration plots from 2021


Read the summary of Ken’s trials in 2020 and 2021 >

For 2022, Ken’s work is focusing on the no-till garlic and potato systems.

Follow Ken’s Work