Creating A No Dig Vegetable Garden

Why is no-dig better?

From my small trials with no dig gardening I have found this method to be superior to traditional double digging. Weed seeds are not dug to the top of the soil to germinate every year. No back breaking digging is needed every year. The crops from dig vs no dig beds are essentially the same. Beyond that, not disturbing the soil keeps a good structure, allows beneficial biology to live and is just less work.

How to begin?

The undisputed King of no-dig gardening in the UK is the wonderful Charles Dowding. His no dig garden in Somerset is the greatest example of garden scale no dig gardening that I have seen.

His videos explain exactly how to begin:

For beginners his online course is well worth investing in.

What results can I expect?

I have found harvests to be essentially the same. Crops that usually are seen as needing a deeply dug soil, carrots being one, seem to do surprisingly well in undug soil. Expect less work. Less weeds. Better soil.

What crops DOESN’T this work for?

I have found potatoes to be a problem using no-dig methods. There is just no way of growing potatoes without digging the soil.

Does the “Back To Eden” woodchip method work in the UK?

Many of you may have heard of the “Back To Eden” method that has become popular in the USA. The climate in Britain isn’t ideal for this method of mulching and I would recommend mulching with compost or even leaves before wood chips. Wood chips are ideal for use on pathways though.

Share on: