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. Also the land is on a slope and I was wondering would I be better to make the beds across the site or will I be able to run the beds down the hill. I'm not dead against raised beds or no dig schemes in the allotment. 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. The first thing I want to do is mark out the area that will become my no dig vegetable beds. Hello Charles, Such buried materials are impermeable both to the roots of our plants and to larger organisms in the soil, and are therefore a general hindrance to growth. Good luck. However you can mulch any size area quickly, with cardboard or polythene – see my video about clearing weeds without digging. If you are faced with only annual weeds (bliss! I’m also a little concerned about the area around the patch of ground….can I put wood chip or similar down around the plot to mark where the plot starts and ends? Help please. It’s my first allotment- thank you for your help!! 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. Gardening is sublime, especially growing your own vegetables in no dig gardens. Your email address will not be published. Jul 4, 2020 - this is a place I put ideas & hacks and also info relating to my new no dig allotment. No Dig is an attractive way of growing. Enclosed beds are clearly defined and look neater, but their edges can dry out more in summer than un-bordered beds where compost is allowed to spill slightly into pathways. I can find a great deal of information online about how difficult it is to control this plant but there appears to be very little written about it in the ‘no-dig literature’. Thanks to you I am about to make an allotment on virgin soil that is feet thick with couch grass. April 20, 2014 by tinyallotment 2 Comments. I'm not dead against raised beds or no dig schemes in the allotment. No-dig gardening is well worth trying, and it is often essential for less-fit gardeners, or those with heavy, intractable soils. Now I admit its been lucky. The link to your pdf seems to be broken. There are a large number of brambles as well as some other weeds that I am in the process of removing. Mine is hungry free draining sandy soil so I’m a bit worried about leaching over winter Do you cover with anything I’m in Leamington Spa Many thanks for your inspirational work. It wasn't the proliferation of weeds, destruction of soil structure or the disruption of the soil micro-organisms that swayed my decision, it was the wonderful but, at times, stressful encounters with the creatures I share my plot with. Once a no dig system is up and running, with perennial weeds. This helps to prevent the soil from becoming compacted, which lessens still further the need to reach for the spade. See you soon! What does ‘No Dig’ mean? I would lay it first, the organic matter on top. We don’t have any spam posts at all, even though we have 17,000 members! 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! It is West at the top, and East at the bottom. but I’m still a little confused on paths. Be prepared for some failures until you have enough experience to appreciate what works for you. Aug 31, 2017 - The experience on the allotment this winter has been very different compared to last year. Do you think I could get away with comfrey and nettle feeds without having to source compost from elsewhere please. 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. 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. There’s some brambles we didn’t get out plus some regrowth. At the allotment, I am so happy with the health of the brassicas. Hi Charles I’m starting a no dig allotment. You can plant into the compost, make sure card is wet. Raised beds are especially valuable in wet districts, on poorly drained soils, and if it is important to avoid back strain. 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. The other reason is soil pollution, read on. Before that she had done a thorough weed although many annual weeds would have been smothered by the three inch covering. I’m a member of a number of Facebook groups, from allotment recycling methods to no dig groups. I have green fingers and used to be a florist but have never grown vegetables so I do have a lot to learn so I will take things slowly and visualise 2022 as being fully ready for bumper harvests. Could I spread garden waste on the soil instead of putting it in compost bin? Mo. Can’t wait to get going, Any of that is good Rosie, whatever is easiest for now, even just with polythene, on the unused ground, We have lots of thin rubber backed carpet available. Double-digging is long, hard, back-breaking work, done at a time of the year when it is cold and wet. I must be looking in the wrong place, as I can only find compost at much higher prices! Yes. These need to be weed free, as much as beds. Cardboard can be used but will decompose before perennial weeds such as couch grass, docks, dandelions and buttercup are dead, so it will need renewing every 2 months or so, depending how thick it is. Many thanks for sharing your knowledge. Most grateful for your advice which will be passed on to my allotment chums. 020 3176 5800 This is easier if you remove old wooden sides before starting. No Dig has been practiced forever, yet has never caught on generally. Based at the Albany Allotments site on Pasture Road, it offers lots of planting space, knowledge, experience, and the opportunity to get growing together in a friendly and helpful environment. It may cause an increase of slugs. They are not just ‘ground to walk on’ but part of your growing space. Typically, no-dig systems involve the addition of 5cm of compost onto the growing beds annually. I am a fit 81 year old, but not into digging ditches. (most are observing rather than contributing) It is mainly for the UK, but we have some international members too. No matter how petite the gardener they will inevitably compress the soil as they walk over it, therefore the no-dig option is a great way to avoid the problem. 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. cheers for now. Luckily there are 'no-dig' alternatives. Nice to hear Tom. 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 … And again next spring, until perennial weeds are dead. North West Ireland so lots of rain. I use cardboard to mulch paths for 6-9 months, enough time to kill most weeds. Blessings to you and your followers. If so, take a good look around at how neighbours are doing, and what crops are growing well. Leek growing - … There are never enough, so it was a no brainier to grow plant at the allotment. 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. They are also time consuming needing a lot of attention to produce high yields from crowded plants. I like to use woody mulches on paths, where practical. 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! thankyou Charles, that is very helpful and will make life a lot easier. One thing I hate about gardening is digging and it turns out the garden hates it too. Cardboard is not pollutant-free, but I have not observed problems to worms and plantings from using it just occasionally. 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 I want to start “no dig”….have selected a couple of areas which I have cleared. This approach works well even for carrots and parsnips, crops that are supposed to fork when compost or manure has been added. You will need a large quantity of organic matter. Hello Charles My initial plan his to strim the site of weeds then cover bedding areas with cardboard. “He has spent 35 years learning and developing a no dig method of commercial, highly productive organic vegetable growing, with little weeding needed. Easier for me to get the compost I think. It would be difficult to sow seeds. I would not, and definitely not under compost. 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