No dig gardening method

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doofaloofa
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #287059 doofaloofa
Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:32 pm

Watch they haven't shredded plastic document covers/ backs

Very annoying
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #287159 happyhippy
Sun Apr 24, 2016 9:43 am

Hi!I havent dug a garden for literally years!Sounds like too much hard work to me.I've used the following method in Australia for years and the UK.Example?Ok 3 years we were offered a brand new allotment.The site has 60 plots in all,and everyone's looked the same.Each has their plot edged with wooden planks,with just grass inside it.As we were in the process of moving (this was towards the end of spring so all my raised beds at home already had half grown veg already in them lol)we carefully first removed the wood frames from our raised beds.Took them up the lottie,and placed them accordingly on the plot.Next,we dug out all the veg,and placed them into tubs to transport them.We then began taking the soil from the raised beds up the lottie.First we laid each bed with thick newspaper,then dumped the soil on top.Replanted the veg,watered and presto!In between the beds,we laid weedmat,and luckily next to our lottie site is woodland.We asked the steward for wood chippings,he said help yourself!So we wheelbarrowed loads of woodchips,laid them on the weedmat.Job done.We then proceeded to erect our chairs and open a beer or two! :iconbiggrin: In the meanwhile....other plot holders were toiling over their plots,digging away furiously,pulling out weeds,and giving us weird looks!haha Later.....maybe 2 yrs on?Most plot holders now have raised beds with.....yep wood chips in between!Our plot took half a day from start to finish!Why make back breaking work for yourself?Unless you dont have better things to do ;) I have two compost bins on my plot.Each late winter,when I see the farmers muck spreading,I follow suit and empty my compost bins on top of my beds.I dont even dig this in.I let the worms do that!My veg grows fantastically!

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Flo
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #287161 Flo
Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:46 am

That's fine happyhippy unless you have solid, brick making clay which sets like concrete until you have spent years working in organic matter of various (and any) sorts (manure, spent compost, spent hops, used mushroom compost, bean trenching). You might just after about 10 years get away with no dig if you inherit an allotment that has had some effort put into it. I am resurrecting one such concrete plot and wouldn't put raised beds on it yet due to drainage problems that would result.

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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #287163 diggernotdreamer
Tue Apr 26, 2016 7:30 am

I garden on heavy heavy yellow clay, under that is grey clay, when I came here people shook their heads and said I would never get anything to grow. I set up up raised beds on top of the ground and then got the farmer down the road to bring up a load of spoiled silage, I had put down cardboard inside the beds to kill the grass and piled the silage inside the beds, I put a lot down to potatoes, earthing up with grass mowings, others I put transplants of brassicas in again mulching with grass. By the end of the season, the silage was breaking down really well and I had got some hens and had a supply of good compost, which I applied, covered everything with newspaper, some I sowed green manure onto and some I just gave a good mulching with grass mowings over winter. The result was some amazing soil within a year, year on year it gets better and better. As for drainage, my land doesn't drain at all, the last winter was so wet my garden flooded, there was a river running down the veg garden, but because everything is in raised beds, the water mostly ran round the beds and the crops inside were not sitting in water which they would have been if I had done a traditional type of garden.

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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #287415 happyhippy
Sun Jun 12, 2016 4:43 pm

Flo:We also have heavy clay soil on our allotment site.I first covered each bed inside with heavy layers of newspaper,then the top soil.So far Ive had 3 happy years of successful growing.Grown everything from root veg to everything else,no problems at all.I just top dress each raised bed with compost from my site.Perfect!

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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #288938 Odsox
Mon Jan 30, 2017 3:10 pm

I forgot to report back on this last year.
I did try the no dig method on peas and potatoes and I have to say it didn't suit me. I compared 2 short rows of peas in the tunnel, one conventional and the other laid on undug soil and then covered in about 1" of compost.
I'm afraid there was no comparison, the no dig ones had a very poor yield compared to the others. Neither had any additives such as fertiliser and both were watered at the same times.

The potatoes fared better and the yields were pretty much the same. The no dig ones were covered in grass mowings which was replenished a couple of times and were of course a lot easier to harvest (find). These were also in the tunnel and I'm not convinced they would survive outdoors as it was easy to "pick up" an entire plant to harvest, the roots just spread along the soil pan, so I'm pretty sure they wouldn't survive gale force winds in my garden.
I think to get the roots to anchor the plants I would have to break up the topsoil and if I did that it wouldn't be "no dig"

It was an interesting experiment and I've now got it "out of my system", because I still think that it's not for me.
Tony

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #288940 diggernotdreamer
Mon Jan 30, 2017 7:56 pm

I think the thing with no dig is that one year is probably not enough. I have been doing this for over 25 years and the act of keep mulching and applying compost to the surface ends up with soil that is really friable. I do grow all my spuds no dig, I just burrow a hole in the soil with my hand, just big enough to plop in the spud and cover it over and then cover over with my chosen mulch, straw, hay, grassmowings etc. I don't get a hardpan of soil because no soil is ever trodden on and the surface is always kept covered with something. I guess you just do what you feel comfortable doing. So in my photo's are compost being applied to the top of the soil in the bed, there would probably have been something covering that, either green manure or paper and mowings overwinter which can be cleared off or just cover with more stuff, then the spuds put in at sort of equidistant spaces and finally the covering of thick wet paper and mulch (2).JPG[/attachment]
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #288953 Weedo
Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:04 pm

Hi, sorry guys but I have to jump in with some science on this one Doofa - manure is most definitely NOT just grass clippings with the nitrogen removed. Firstly, ruminants (in this case cattle) do not just graze grass (unless on a monoculture pasture - in which case any competent husbander would supplement with other feeds), they graze, in balancing their diet, a wide variety of plants including weeds.Secondly, most ruminants rely on a digestive system similar to brewing to modify what they eat into what they need.

From their intake they extract nitrogen (for some protein but mainly to stimulate to digestive biota to produce proteins) and Phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc and other miro-nutrients; all of which go into growing the steak. Only about 30% of this is returned in poo. They also add in a considerable amount of heat and physical conversion to the process as well as extract a large amount of the water (up to 60%) and add in a range of enzymes, oxalates, bacteria, exudates and other waste products.

Overall, poo is a pre-digedsted, tertiary processed product ready for use in the "ish' garden - grass clipping are a raw material in need of processing to be useful
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bonniethomas06
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #288955 bonniethomas06
Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:24 pm

Weedo keep coming with the Science, I love it! V.interesting.

I am sorry but I am going to say it - idiotic as it is I LOVE DIGGING!

I don't care if it destroys the soil structure or whether it is completely unnecessary - the satisfaction of a cold lager after a day with my bum in the air and nose to the soil, leaving a lovely crumbly patch of brown is just too much to resist!

And I quite like how many calories it burns.

Ridiculous, I know.
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Odsox
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #288956 Odsox
Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:47 pm

bonniethomas06 wrote:Ridiculous, I know.

Not ridiculous at all.
I'm not sure that it does destroy the soil structure either, as you're only turning the topsoil over which is what the worms do after all, although admittedly in a more violent way.
My philosophy is "if it ain't broke don't fix it", meaning that we have been turning the soil over mechanically since prehistory. Also I know of no arable farmer that doesn't plough, rotovate and/or harrow, and if there's profit at stake then I'm sure they know what they're doing.

I mentioned in the original post that I don't double dig. My topsoil is very shallow with the subsoil mainly pure scree shale and if I grow long maincrop carrots they push themselves upwards, so that when they are mature there is at least 3" of carrot above the soil surface (which of course goes green)
How do you grow carrots using no dig methods, or do you grow stump rooted or ball types like I do in the hydroponics ?
Tony

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diggernotdreamer
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #288960 diggernotdreamer
Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:35 pm

bonniethomas06 wrote:Weedo keep coming with the Science, I love it! V.interesting.

I am sorry but I am going to say it - idiotic as it is I LOVE DIGGING!

I don't care if it destroys the soil structure or whether it is completely unnecessary - the satisfaction of a cold lager after a day with my bum in the air and nose to the soil, leaving a lovely crumbly patch of brown is just too much to resist!

And I quite like how many calories it burns.

Ridiculous, I know.


I don't think it is ridiculous at all. I think that is the great thing about gardening, there is not a right or wrong way to do your garden, just your way, if you end up with things to eat and a space you feel really happy in, that is all that matters.

How do I do no dig carrots, I have tried all sorts of ways to mainly evade slugs, the most successful way so far has been to grow them in very deep containers, like water tanks and keep them outside so they get watered properly. If I sow into the ground, I cut through my paper and mulch and reveal the soil, make a bit of an indent and sow into that, the mulch left either side keeps the weeds down, so the emerging seedlings can then be grazed off by the slugs, or I have cleared all the mulches off leaving weed free soil, sowed them in drills, weeded out the weeds and then the emerging seedlings can be grazed off by the slugs.

Oh, no dig doesn't mean you don't actually ever put a fork in the ground, if I do lift carrots with a fork, I just lift and take out the carrots or parsnips. I just don't dig and invert soil

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bonniethomas06
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Re: No dig gardening method

Post: #288965 bonniethomas06
Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:23 pm

Yeah, can't say that digging and inverting the soil gets around the slug issue sadly!
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