Q. What are the prospects for gardening with the no-till method?

A. At this point, no-till appears impractical for gardeners because of the weed-control problem. With no-till, you don't cultivate the soil. Instead seeds are planted in standing stubble or a chemically killed cover crop without turning the soil over at all. The no-till planter disturbs only enough ground to make an opening for the seed. Competing weeds are controlled with herbicides (weed-killing chemicals) rather than by cultivation.

Weed-killers are completely impractical for most gardens and gardeners. They must be applied very uniformly. The right amount of works fine, a little bit won't do the jon, a little extra kills the vegetables.

To apply the weed killer you need a sprayer with very accurate pressure control and you need to walk at a uniform pace over a measured area. It is hard to do this with a knapsack sprayer.

Mulching is about as good as anything in a small garden, althouth there is nothing wrong with hand weeding as long as you keep at it. A little hand cultivator is fine, too.

Q. Please tell me how to store onions and sweet potatoes for winter use. I've planted 100 onions and 100 sweet potato sets and would not like to lose then again.

A: The mild or Bermuda type onions cannot be stored very long, but the more pungent types can be stored through the winter. Only onions that are well cured and free from disease should be stored. The temperature should be just above freezing. if humidity is too high, the onion bulbs may sprout.

Store only large, mature roots of sweet potatoes, harvested before the vines are frosted. Handle them carefully and cure for 10 days at 80 to 85 degrees under moist conditions. They should keep for a month or more in a cool (55 to 60) dry place. use the smaller, younger roots soon after harvesting, or freeze, or can them.