Advantages Of A No-Dig Vegetable Garden
- no digging or tilling needed
- fewer weeds
- higher yields
- stronger plants due to better soil health
- better quality produce
- less watering
- increased soil fertility
How Does It Work?
In a no-dig garden, the hard work is done by microorganisms and
earthworms. The digging in a conventional garden upsets and disturbs the
delicate biological balance in the soil. Microorganisms and mycorrhiza
(beneficial fungi) needed for healthy plants are disturbed and
pathogenic organisms can multiply unharmed.
To restore the balance
nature sends a repair team: weeds!!
Initially, you might have to
mulch your no dig beds if they are covered in perennial weeds. A cover
with cardboard and organic matter like leaves, compost or grass clipping
several months beforehand is the easiest way to get rid of persistent
Set up your bed design so you never have to walk on your soil. A bed width of 4 ft (120 cm) is ideal.
keep the soil fertile cover your beds with a layer of good quality
compost. Important: no need to dig it into the ground! The worms will do
it for you! You can cover the compost with an additional layer of mulch
like leaves, straw, seaweed or grass clippings.
Planting And Sowing In A No Dig Garden
For sowing directly just move the layer of mulch a little to make a shallow drill. Sow your seeds as usual and cover with a sprinkle of soil and compost. Water with a fine rose and keep them moist.
A no-dig vegetable garden is ideal for planting seedlings you have started off in the greenhouse. If necessary you can add soil amendments like organic fertilizer, seaweed meal or a sprinkle of rock dust when you are planting. Move the layer of mulch aside and make a hole that is large enough for the rootball. Firm the soil gently around the roots and move the mulch back around the plant without covering it. Don't forget to water them in.
No dig garden beds will need less watering and feeding than conventional beds. The soil will be able to hold nutrients and water better. The soil is less likely to dry out and you will have a lot less weeds in the long run.
Organic Gardening: The Natural No-Dig Way
A lot of these no-dig organic gardening tips focus on improving the
health of the soil. A healthy soil is the key to healthy and disease
resistant plants. If you encounter a lot of trouble with pests and
diseases in your garden always think of how you can improve the quality
of your soil instead of simply reaching for a spray.You can learn more about this method of gardening in Charles Dowdings book 'Organic Gardening: The Natural No-dig Way'. This is one of my favourite books. The information in it is presented in a very easy to follow and doable way.
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