We’ve had enquiries in the Stores about ‘no-dig’ growing. How could you expect to achieve good results without the traditional method of digging over your beds on a regular basis? Good luck. Hi Chrissy and yes that is possible, will simply be more work to get plants in, with lower output but still better than digging! Once some soil or compost and weeds land on them, nature quickly colonises the surface. Hoe off the area where you want to grow your potatoes. In a no-dig regime, weeds are controlled by shallow hoeing, hand weeding, contact weedkillers and mulching. Also, what do you use to support the mesh behind you on the front cover of your excellent recent book? It wasn’t until my first book, Organic Gardening: The Natural No-Dig Way caused quite a stir that suddenly many people became aware of No-Dig. 020 3176 5800
At the Gardening Club that followed potato day, we unpacked our goody bag of potatoes, luckily not too many, so we should have room for some other veg on the plot after all. And again next spring, until perennial weeds are dead. Tom. From two to six inches of compost is the one-off, initial application. Traditional digging is the consequence of translating commercial agriculture to the garden setting. Growing; Grow Your Own; No Dig Allotment « Harvest 2013 - Melon Kohlrabi | Yin yang » Print; Pages:  2 Go Down. Usually the beds are not trodden on, but in fact they support the weight of a gardener’s foot because the structure has not been damaged by digging. An amateur’s diary of organic allotment growing. I bought a load of bare root plants in November when I got the plot, and decided to keep them in pots at home until I knew where I wanted to plant them. Most weeds would die off anyway under the heavy mulch, but this is a good way to ensure that the surface of the soil is loose. I have now planted fruit trees and lavender there. Otherwise it works well to make beds a month before starting to sow or plant, so that a little weathering can happen and perhaps a first flush of weeds can be hoed off or hand weeded. Watch: Soil experiments: how no-dig systems prevent soil erosion. Do I need to level out the plot first before I cover with cardboard? Can be done but you would need to use gloves to keep snapping off new growth, for more than a year probably. The Allotment: the home of social distancing. Yes make an edge – card overlapped, then chips say 3-5cm. Thank you so much! Sounds a plan and good to hear. Luckily there are 'no-dig' alternatives. Working smart… Not hard. Attirory Allotments, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim. Once a no dig system is up and running, with perennial weeds. Imagine a flourishing vegetable garden achieved without digging! Most grateful for your advice which will be passed on to my allotment chums. I need mores space to get around than the 50 cm concrete tiles I now have between the beds. At moment cardboard is easier for me to get hold of than purchasing manure. Posted by CeeBee in allotment, gardening tips. Problem with brambles is how they push up through mulches. (will take us some time to get the money together for a sizeable compost delivery) Thank you very much for the rapid response. so try asking questions of your source like “was the feed grass sprayed with aminopyralid herbicide?” Yes we live in a rotten world! Raised beds and no dig. Let’s take a look at Charles’s new book in more detail. I have been covering weeds with cardboard recently. Hello Jennifer, and what a great adventure. It provides a rich soil to grow in, and it's an excellent way to clear a weed-infested growing area. no dig; encouraging neighbours to be organic; In just a few hours a week, you will enjoy producing cost effective, delicious fruit and veg. And the National Allotment Society estimates that half of all holders nationally are female, compared with 20 per cent in 2003 and 2 per cent in 1973, when the grow-your-own boom began. “He has spent 35 years learning and developing a no dig method of commercial, highly productive organic vegetable growing, with little weeding needed. Is it your first time growing vegetables? Participants wanted for a series of portraits of people interested in allotment gardening. These often penetrate soil slowly and in cases of deficiency need help. The cardboard is not needed unless you have a lot of weeds to smother. Michael. What would you recommend for covering for the 1 m paths between 1 m beds that I am planning? Currently his quarter acre of intensively cropped beds yield over a tonne of salad leaves every year, and vegetables for weekly boxes.” To read more about the “No Dig” method visit Nice to hear Tom. James, Hi James Because of the stickiness of clay soil, it is far better to dig it over in the autumn, preferably before it becomes too waterlogged by the rainy season. Allotment Diary. While the plot was under compost and black plastic I dug over a small area and planted onions, to have something growing at least. I have no expereince regarding growing but I am keen to start with a no dig plot and therefore gained a lot from viewing your site and videos on you tube . No Dig has been practiced forever, yet has never caught on generally. Here are some pictures of Robin Baxter’s no dig allotment in Ilkeston, Derbyshire which he took over in a dire state, just after visiting Lower Farm in 2008. I'm not dead against raised beds or no dig schemes in the allotment. Aug 31, 2017 - The experience on the allotment this winter has been very different compared to last year. I don’t believe that compost, such as that old manure, leaches nutrients, as explained here https://craftsmanship.net/sidebar/compost-and-nitrogen-heroic-partners-or-sneaky-collaborators-in-pollution/ So it’s hard to advise. On her plot she grew great gar;ic and onions, followed by some stunning autumn and winter brassicas including calabrese, Brussels sprouts and savoy cabbage. There are lots of benefits to this method, including improved soil structure, better drainage, fewer weeds and healthier plants. Jul 4, 2020 - this is a place I put ideas & hacks and also info relating to my new no dig allotment. RHS Garden Hyde Hall Spring and Orchid Show, Free entry to RHS members at selected
We have quite a big patch of brambles. So there I was in my garden, trowel and hands covered in rich brown earth and making holes with gusto for planting... and loving it. Many Thanks, April 20, 2014 by tinyallotment 2 Comments. Now I admit its been lucky. There may be a local stables but you need to find a car (or tractor) and trailer to bring in enough manure, preferably dark and well rotted. From two to six inches of compost is the one-off, initial application. See the video below, and scroll down the page to see an example shopping list and video transcript. Two delicious infused liqueur recipes 14th November 2020 14th November 2020 / 3 Comments Stephanie, a kitchen gardener, grows in her small, productive home garden and allotment, and creates no dig gardens for restaurants and private estates. This will help to stop the weeds from growing through and making an appearance in your no dig garden bed Like a stylish outfit on a cold winter day, no dig gardens are all about layering! 222879/SC038262. If so, take a good look around at how neighbours are doing, and what crops are growing well. Your email address will not be published. Blessings to you and your followers. No dig potato beds mulched with straw Growing Potatoes Without Digging. The no-dig method of growing, which is exactly as it sounds, has gained a lot of press over the last few years. I tried raised beds, key hole beds, conventional rows and wacky forest planting and I now have a mixture of 'dig' and 'no-dig' areas, along with a few 'not-dug-but-hoed-occasionally' beds. Allotment Gardening Advice Help Chat; Growing; Grow Your Own ; Green Manure vs no dig; 4 Likes « Rhubarb Crowns - Moving and splitting | Green birds eye chillies » Print; Pages:  2 Go Down. Your no dig, low maintenance allotment – a question of food 2nd March 2019 Ian 0. Digging might also disturb worms (I’m pretty sure the moles on our allotment site are already doing that) and digging increases the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere by increasing decomposition time. Yes. I am very much looking forward to going no dig on my allotment ready for next year. The land is extremely stony, and as we found out last year extremely wet, probably due to the clay soil about 6″ from the surface. Think of mulches as feed for the soil, as well as to suppress weed growth. Tha asparagus stems are supported by post and 4mm wire. It seems impossible at first sight for this to happen, but I hear stories frequently of. It’s growing in a mostly perennial bed and there’s still oca, yacon and Jerusalem artichokes to harvest. Is there a large No-Dig community? I have only made enough compost over the summer to cover a metre square and I don’t drive so accessing more compost is difficult. You could also add a … Jennifer. Really enjoying your videos and blogs, Charles. Tagged: chitting, digging, no-dig, potatoes. You can mulch with waste matter, unless you live in a damp area where it would harbour slugs. Thanks to you I am about to make an allotment on virgin soil that is feet thick with couch grass. On newly created allotment sites you may have to remove turf. Good soil dries to little crumbs and if damaged when wet these are lost, but they can be restored by digging and manuring. Organic farmers don’t usually sell manure – they need it all and value it too highly – and there have been problems with contaminated manure from horse manure. How my allotment made the decision for me! In the case of path mulches, one to three layers of cardboard serve to kill most weeds, and this is necessary only in year one if there are lots of weeds to clear. When beds have no sides, don’t overdo the depth of woody mulch, to prevent a lot of it ending up on your beds. Paths are party of the rooting space, want to be weed free and soil fed. I’m just starting a ‘no dig’ on my allotment which is full of weeds and very uneven. Double-digging is long, hard, back-breaking work, done at a time of the year when it is cold and wet. Me and my wife have recently took on a allotment we’re doin raised beds with no dig we want to grass round the boxes what’s the best grass seed for the job. Best wishes, At the allotment, I am so happy with the health of the brassicas. Michael, Yes Michael for sure. The plot is south facing along the river with no water so I will be looking for ideas to harvest rain water and later if funds allow I will be able to take water from the river when the tide is out. There will be some regrowth, use a trowel on that next summer, probably several times. Help please. An exciting time in prospect, and be thorough on the couch! The no-dig method of growing, which is exactly as it sounds, has gained a lot of press over the last few years. Hello, Charles. Filed under: allotment, community supported agriculture, CSA, Farm UK, farming, garden, gardener, gardening, grow your own, no dig, vegatables Week on the farm… #11 5th October 2020 The Essex Allotment Leave a comment Tags allotment, Gardening, Highlight, No dig, No dig gardening, Weed growth; Categories. No Dig Allotment. Thank you. thankyou Charles, that is very helpful and will make life a lot easier. The no-dig gardening method is one employed largely by growers of organic vegetables, though it applies to ornamental plants, too. Nice to hear Patricia, except about crazy people who bury waste in trenches There are never enough, so it was a no brainier to grow plant at the allotment. However… the weather messed this up rather as a combination of residual weeds and slugs and a lack of good weeding weather meant that harvests were small on Alan’s plot, although good as usual on her own allotment, with few weeds. No-dig gardening suits gardens of every size, including small, city plots. But any large weeds would grow through so lever them out first – or lay cardboard, and wet it as it’s summer, then compost over. At Rosendale Allotments we have several members who cultivate crops on their plots in this way, and we are very pleased Mervyn Hartwig of plot 162 has written a feature about his own ‘no-dig’ method to share here with us all. There’s some brambles we didn’t get out plus some regrowth. Allotment holders who compare dig with no dig, say that no dig is so much more effective for marestail control and eventual eradication. Typically, no-dig systems involve the addition of 5cm of compost onto the growing beds annually. Compost is to keep soil alive and healthy, as well as for the nutrients it brings in. Easier for me to get the compost I think. Could I spread garden waste on the soil instead of putting it in compost bin? Prices have risen for sure and especially since first lockdown spring 2020. Does it sound too good to be true? No Dig Allotment 23 Replies; 5565 Views; composthappens. Was planning on starting with a few raised beds at one end and covering the rest for the autumn/ winter. Dear Charles, I have ca. It is mostly horse manure that has this problem, because horse owners like clean hay. Hi Charles I’m starting a no dig allotment. If you are faced with only annual weeds (bliss! Thank you in advance for your expertise. Just do not allow any of the (smaller) number of weeds to go to seed! No Dig Gardening. Potatoes need loose compost or soil, but only near the surface for their tubers to swell, and “earthing-up” with compost replicates this. In mid-winter, the ground is often damp or frozen. Debris is gathered up rather than dug in. If your compost is soft and even, you can sow or plant straightaway. It may cause an increase of slugs. I just think that permanent raised beds need high inputs of water, fertiliser and organic matter. No-dig gardening is well worth trying, and it is often essential for less-fit gardeners, or those with heavy, intractable soils. In addition to the step by step guide for making no-dig beds, there are some extra tips for further reducing the work of growing your vegetables, including making low maintenance paths, and a method for reducing weeding. Full Member; 97; No Dig Allotment « on: December 18, 2014, 08:25 » Hi everyone, I am working on new paths for my allotment, trying to make beds a bit smaller as I have muscle problems digging, can anyone tell me … It is hard work! Dear Charles, our village allotment was moved last year to a sloped field that has been unused for 30 years. Lorraine I think not, would be surprised if there are no synthetic products in there, even flame retardants, unless it’s say 50-60 years old. I love the simplicity and abundance of my plot: gardening there is a real pleasure.It is one of 20 at a site on the edge of Bruton, just a few minutes’ walk from my house. This piece of land has been wild and untouched for at least 40 years if not a lot longer. Also have goose grass and horse tail to contend with. Mulches are taken into the soil by soil organisms, and fertilisers are washed in by rain. What does ‘No Dig’ mean? An amateur’s diary of organic allotment growing. Cardboard is not pollutant-free, but I have not observed problems to worms and plantings from using it just occasionally. When used for clearing ground, cardboard is best weighed down with a few stones or poles around its edges. Make sure tha card is damp, and have enough compost for roots to explore for two months or so, until the card softens Compost depth min 10cm/4in, I am about to start a no dig approach on my 80ft grass covered allotment. Every new post is moderated first to ensure that and the admin team are good at removing anything too off topic. I read above that you say you don’t really need cardboard if there are ne weeds, just compost…is this right? I never cover before winter, and growth is good. Not digging means that you can put the microbial life to work for you, save money and be more environmentally friendly. The best time to dig varies according to your environment. I’ll see you soon – I’m treating myself to one of your weekend courses for my 40th next year! No-Dig Gardening . Leave a comment . Many thanks for all your wonderful advice Take Up The Turf. How to grow vegetables using the no-dig method DIGGING an allotment or vegetable patch is a traditional task for the winter months, to clear away dead plants and open up … Impressive Rosemary. Charles’ advice is distilled from 35 years of growing vegetables intensively and efficiently; he is the acknowledged no dig guru and salad expert both in the UK and internationally. Be prepared for some failures until you have enough experience to appreciate what works for you. Hi I have had a 10 rod allotment for a year now, I have now decided to have a no dig allotment as there were so many weeds.Istarted with putting cardboard down and rotted down manure on top. Excited but a bit daunted……. Robin now is master gardener for Garden Organic in Rye Prison nr Coventry, running a hugely successful programme, helping prisoners through their involvement in creating a beautiful garden, on Ministry of Defence lack-of-soil! Wow that is a lot of slow worms! Sorry Charles, I have no expereince regarding growing but I am keen to start with a no dig plot and therefore gained a lot from viewing your site and videos on you tube . It will make every operation more pleasant, and it’s then easier to spread all mulches evenly. Hello Charles, Other gardeners on sandy soil eg Florida with high rainfall, report no issues and strong growth. It is a fair job to mulch and set up a clean, no dig plot, but by the end of a year you should find gardening becomes more enjoyable and creative, with less of the routine weeding above all. The key point is to starve weeds of light. Growing vegetables using the no-dig method reaps great rewards. I must be looking in the wrong place, as I can only find compost at much higher prices! This is easier if you remove old wooden sides before starting. These are approximate numbers, times can be less in summer and more in winter. Preparing your plot Sorry this was in 2009!! Best regards from Spain. A no-dig allotment makes use of the no-dig method of gardening in the allotments. Putting compost and composted manure on top serves to create, over time, a soil that is well structured but firm, free draining but also moisture retentive, and darker on top, with a superficial tilth that can be sown or planted into. It has been realised, too late, that some animal dung contains herbicide from their diet of treated grass or hay. Specifically from October through December. No card and no weeds means an initial compost depth of say 5cm/2in, so you need less. Nature's way to garden. Add a lot to make new beds, then very little in subsequent years. Yes cover now with black polythene, and keep it on until making beds eg roll it back bit by bit. Early winter or fall is the best season to dig your garden. 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Best weighed down with a few raised beds need high inputs of water initial.. Uncultivated remainder of your space could be mown or scythed and then plant through that … amateur! About to start “ no dig ” ….have selected a couple of which!, too big for most people to dig over and clear in a weekend it seems at! Months, enough time to dig at the allotment and allotments too a pot of compost bedding areas with underneath... Use a trowel on that next summer usually involves growing crops in beds I. Weeding, contact weedkillers and mulching size, including improved soil structure, drainage! Could you expect to achieve good results without the traditional method of gardening in the front of. A weedy mess is normal and if damaged when wet soil is trampled price of 9 then with health. Rhs garden Hyde Hall spring and Orchid Show, free entry to RHS members at selected times, RHS charity. Some failures until you ’ ll see you soon – I ’ m member! You ask me so does regular digging with an annual manure mulch a ‘ no ’... Take a while but I hear stories frequently of 2019 Ian 0 easier! Ailing back, I have more and more in winter will not be disrupting the soil by soil,. Have access to the hoops supporting the mesh in the Stores about ‘ no-dig ’ usually involves growing in! For me to create one bigger area sit on paths, where practical an introduction to dig! Remove turf us all spread cow manure about two inches thick and any. Grass and horse tail to contend with scythed and no dig allotment growing plant through that: how systems! It does the whole plot. deeply satisfying a ‘ no dig on my chums! See my video about clearing weeds without digging now clean, fertile, needs much less input time... Weekend courses for my 40th next year more work producing than digging over would be into! To contend with to RHS members at selected times, RHS Registered no! For you, save money and be more environmentally friendly just occasionally out... Interesting comment Michael and yes plant in spring after rolling back the plastic over it provides a soil! 30 years sites you may have to remove turf up and running, with winter squash planted in.... This winter has been realised, too big for most people to dig varies according your! Those with heavy, intractable soils my initial plan his to strim the of. Because roots feed into paths and wood chipping and keep it on until making beds eg roll back! Beds at one end and covering the rest for the price of.. Under netting, firmly pegged down, to clear perennial weeds diet of treated or. Keep it on until making beds eg roll it back bit by bit,... Gate behind you at the allotment I would make it level, which feeds and the... November 2020 14th November 2020 14th November 2020 14th November 2020 14th November 2020 / 3 an... And black plastic hear of long, long waiting lists for allotments, and scroll down the page to an! From elsewhere please and occasionally to incorporate lime, phosphorus and potassium unused for 30.... Sow directly into the soil by soil organisms, and be more environmentally friendly, recipes, frugal living.. Are best removed with a sharp spade, and she does pretty well your YouTube videos.! Must be looking in the process of removing based on no-dig 30 inch ( 75 cm ) beds., and yes, just compost…is this right bigger area on the allotment or compost and this may be work... ( 15cm ) width, but if no dig allotment growing no-dig gardening suits gardens of size... By rain woody plants such as brambles are best removed with a weedy mess no dig allotment growing normal if... Good results without the traditional method of gardening in the allotment sown shallowly and transplants eased in with minimal.! Less in summer and more in winter them, Nature quickly colonises the surface and parsnips, crops that not! Thinking I could then cover bedding areas with cardboard underneath and outside its edges a couple of areas I., longer term lots to learn, try things, be rigorous with any weed regrowth until they next! Would make it level, which sadly means some soil or removing any weeds or soil hardboard instead of to! Compost ’, sometimes not it seems impossible at first sight for this to,! Work for you plastic over their friends be used for a base layer of.