EXPERIMENTAL NO-TILL PLANTING: Step 1 was to mow this 4-year pollinator pasture section with a drum mower (which creates windrows leaving cut material intact). We waited until after nesting birds fledged. Step 2 was to use an electric string trimmer to create planting circles, reducing any potential for re-sprouting of grasses around the new plant. Step 3 was to spade a planting hole, preserving soil crumb structure (which was beautiful). Step 4 was to spread duck compost, water-in, and then mulch with the 'hay'. This is our sanctuary team spending an hour planting after chores! This method might be more appropriate for fast-growing annuals with healthy root development (so that the plants can compete with surrounding pasture growth). We will maintain the planting by mowing when needed.
This approach preserves surrounding pollinator habitat, and we're told that the aromatics from other flowers can impart good qualities to the crop. High production hemp growing, even organic, replaces one monocrop (like corn) with another, disrupting wildlife habitat, soil life, and often uses non-recyclable plastic mulch--30 acres of organic mulch plantings equates to 36 linear miles of 1-meter wide plastic.