You can garden anywhere when you choose to do no dig gardening. No dig gardening is exactly what it suggests, gardening without digging. In a no dig garden, you simply layer organic matter above the soil and plant your garden. The garden is the compost that feeds the plants. Gardening experts often refer to no dig gardening as raised bed gardening. Raised bed gardening is becoming more and more popular.
If you live where the soil might not be conducive to whatever it is you wish to grow, (the preferred choice is a vegetable garden) or you have to grow a garden on top of clay or a stony area, no dig gardening can be your answer. Anything grows in compost.
Just like regular gardening, you must choose a site first. The area should be level and have no less than five hours of sun daily. Don’t worry if the soil is not good or the weeds are invasive, as this has little effect on a no dig garden. Building above a lawn or weeds will simply create more compost material in the long run, as long as you do not expose the vegetation to light. This is part of the delight of no dig gardening.
You will most likely want to delineate your garden space by bordering it. For this, you can use old bricks, logs, stones, etc. The elevated borders hold the garden within so it doesn’t stray and nothing or no one can encroach. Next, lay down a layer of lucerne hay (alfalfa) to a height of about 10cm. Put a layer of organic fertilizer on top of that at a height of about 20 mm. Add a level of thick loose straw on top of that to 20cm, another layer of fertilizer, and finish your no dig garden with 10 cm of compost.
Your no dig garden will be more successful if you plant seedlings instead of seeds. Seeds tend to disappear in the mix. Seedlings are easier to keep track of and you can plant seedlings well in the rich mixture. Try peas, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, or sweet corn. Wait before you start planting root crops until you have a more mature garden. Besides, you’ll have to dig to remove those.
There are no size or shape limitations in no dig gardening. Make your garden as large or as small as you want. Try not to walk on it or in it, as this will compact the layers and affect your harvest. Keep building your garden up because it will tend to settle down. Practice crop rotation when you re-plant, keep adding compost and be sure to mulch around replacement plants.
Remember that no digging means your garden is easier to create, but you will have to work at maintaining it if you want a nice yield for your efforts. Always organic materials in your garden. Never use chemical or artificial fertilizers or pesticides. No dig gardening mirrors nature’s way of growing, so staying organic is of the utmost importance to the philosophy of no dig gardening.
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