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Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:22 am
by diggernotdreamer
I don't know if I have a larger amount of pests, I have friends that don't do as I do and they have the same problems with slugs I do, but living in a relatively warm country where it is wet most of the time is a breeding ground for slugs. The thing I notice the most with mulches,if you lift the mulch, there is always something underneath it, so what is also a place for slugs is also a habitat for things like rove beetles which like to eat slugs and centipedes. Because I don't have to do much weeding of beds, it give me more time to do other things. I use the mowings rounds most things, cabbages, beans and especially tomatoes, which I never liquid feed in the tunnel, I think the mowings breaking down provide warmth and feed for everything and of course once broken down everything reverts to neutral. My soil ph is around 7 some may be 6.5 so no problems there

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:27 pm
by Odsox
One question DnD, do you grow anything else under grass mowings apart from potatoes, any small seeds for instance?
I would have thought a 2" layer of grass would be a minimum depth but that would be too deep for small seeds if it were done in soil.
Peas and beans might be OK.

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:00 pm
by diggernotdreamer
Mostly everything is grown as a transplant and plunged into the mulches. If I do carrots and parsnips, I have a bed that is cleared of top mulch, underneath is good soil, a bit like the picture where the potatoes are going in. I cover that with damp paper, and then if I have a few mowings, I use them, or home made compost, but not much, just a covering to keep the paper weighed down, you can then either cut into the paper with a sharp serrated knife or whatever you have to make rows and make a little furrow, sow your seeds and cover back over. Or you could just remove the mulches and sow as normal. The only reason I do that is I find it cuts down on the need to week with the paper between.

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:28 pm
by Odsox
I also grow a lot of transplants, including parsnips and carrots. Mainly because I suffer from woodlice browsing the seedlings off as they appear. Woodlice might not like grass mowings, so I will have to see how that goes, but I'm pretty sure they would love living under damp newspaper.
I will give it a go with some crops this year, especially potatoes, and see how I get on.

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:15 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I have a big problem with woodlice, they are on my heated bench which has clay balls on it and they absolutely love it, I have lost 4 of my 6 tomato seedlings the last week, they just nip the stems and that is the end of the plants. I even cleaned the bench, picked out all the woodlice and fed them to the chickens, put it all back together and they came back, grrrrrrr

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:57 am
by doofaloofa
Crane flies (leather jackets), click beetles (wire worms) and chafer beetles all prefer to lay eggs in uncultivated ground, so I would presume you would get more of these than in dug soil

Cut worm hide under the soil and come out at night to feed. Would they hide in the mulch, or would the mulch deter them?

Flea beetle attacks are worse in dry conditions, so I would assume a no dig area would be less vulnerable to attack

Do any of these ring true DnD?

I think no digging in your tunnels would be of great benefit to you Tony

Less watering required for a start, cooler soil in summer, and warmer soil in winter

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 3:42 pm
by Odsox
doofaloofa wrote:I think no digging in your tunnels would be of great benefit to you Tony

That's where I intend to do some test rows, half conventional and half no dig.
I would like to try "no dig" potatoes outside but I'm not sure I will have any grass mowings by early next month, although I could postpone the maincrop for a few weeks until I do have some.
Whatever, I'll post the results, good or bad.

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:28 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I haven't really noticed any proliferation of any pests at all. I don't think I have seen flea beetles here, used to get them in Berkshire when they cut the rape down and then they would be everywhere. I have seen the odd leather jacket, but not loads. Slugs are my biggest problem and I have the woodlice thing, they have just chewed through my last tomato seedling so I am about to try an experiment to deter them. I don't have any problems in the tunnels with aphids or spider mites, because of the mulching, it keeps the soil very moist so the plants are never stressed.

You could go and buy a bale of straw for your spuds Tony, they are only a few quid and go a very long way and then when you have mowings you could chuck them on top

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 12:18 pm
by ina
Odsox wrote:I would like to try "no dig" potatoes outside but I'm not sure I will have any grass mowings by early next month


If it wasn't so blimming wet you could get plenty of grass mowings... It's been growing all through the winter, but no chance of getting on to mow! :?

I think I'll have to get myself a scythe once it's dry enough.

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:46 am
by Flo
Scything is an art Ina but once you get a scythe fitted up for you it's very therapeutic and if you are good at it you can get your lawn looking as if the mower has been over it. The main hitch is the clearing up afterwards.

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:29 pm
by ina
I think I'll just turn the rest of the grass into productive garden, too... ;)

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:59 pm
by diggernotdreamer
I really really hate grass, my last garden had just a tiny bit by the time I had finished putting in veg beds, chicken garden, pond and ornamental beds, I loved it, now I have 3 acres of the wretched stuff

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:08 pm
by Odsox
ina wrote:If it wasn't so blimming wet you could get plenty of grass mowings... It's been growing all through the winter, but no chance of getting on to mow!

That was what I meant on my post above, being able to mow on the day I choose to plant my first earlies is probably a bit like winning the lottery.
No problem with the stuff growing, it never stops here.

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:03 pm
by daffodiltulip
Can shredded paper, the sort used for letters in offices, be used to cover potatoes with or without grass mixed in?

Re: No dig gardening method

Posted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:08 pm
by diggernotdreamer
you can use shredded paper as a mulch, it works quite well especially with some grass mowing mixed in too, I have used it as a mulch for strawberries too when I couldn't find any straw