Start A No Dig Garden
You can create a garden anywhere when you choose to do no dig gardening. No dig gardening is exactly what the term implies, gardening without digging. In a no dig garden, you simply layer organic matter on top of the soil and plant your garden. The garden is the compost that is feeding the plants. People usually refer to no dig gardening as raised bed gardening. No dig gardens are becoming increasingly 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 want to grow a garden on top of clay or a stony area, no dig gardening offers a practical gardening solution. Anything grows in compost.
Just like regular gardening, the first step is to select your garden site. 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 is of no consequence to a no dig garden. Building right over the top of lawn or weeds will simply create more compost material in the long run, as long as you bury the vegetation from the light. This is part of the delight of creating a no dig garden.
You will most likely want to outline your garden space by creating a border around it. For this, you can use old bricks, logs, stones, etc. The elevated borders hold the garden inside 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. Add a layer of organic fertiliser 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 fertiliser, and finish your no dig garden with 10 cm of compost.
Your no dig garden will be richer 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. You should not try root crops until you have a more mature garden. Besides, you’ll have to dig to remove those.
There are no size or shape restrictions in no dig gardening. Make your garden as large or as small as you want. Try to avoid walking 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, continue to add compost and be sure to mulch around replacement plants.
Remember that no digging means your garden is easier to make, 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 man-made fertilisers 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. You should of course keep your tools dry and for this a decent shed will do the trick.