No dig gardening – a guide to the time-saving method that benefits soil and plant health

No dig gardening, if nothing else, involves mulching soil with compost, instead of laboriously digging it over, therefore boosting the soil’s natural eco-system.

There are lots of advantages to this process of no till gardening, which could save gardeners time because it reduces the necessity to spend hrs weeding and digging over beds and borders.

It will help you accomplish bigger and plants and crops, so combine it with your listing of garden ideas and jump to the #nodig garden movement.

Do You Know The Benefits Of NO DIG GARDENING?

There are lots of benefits of no dig gardening.

Charles Dowding continues to be while using no dig gardening method in the gardens for 4 decades, as well as on a variety of different soil types. ‘Mulching the soil to give its microorganisms activates the faucet of creating food and moisture open to plants, in addition to improving soil structure,’ he explains. Should you match other organic gardening methods, for example companion planting, you need to nurture a thriving garden.


To begin no dig gardening, ‘give yourself lots of planning here we are at picking your website and starting to get ready for planting,’ advises Colonial based homesteader Suzan of It’s My Sustainable Existence.

Charles Dowding recommends beginning small with only one bed, like a 4x8ft (1.2 x 2.4m) bed, full of 6in/15cm compost. ‘It can easily be on the top of some unused grass, using the grass and weeds left in position, compost on the top will smother them, without any digging needed,’ he adds.

1. Put lower a weed suppressing barrier.

After you have made the decision around the beds or areas you want to transform to no dig, the initial step would be to cover the region having a weed suppressing barrier.

Charles Dowding recommends using light-excluding mulches, for example biodegradable brown card board, within the newbie to kill perennial weeds, because this time saving over time.

2. Add organic mulch.

‘Build in the soil by layering both brown organic materials – carbon-wealthy choices for example leaves, shredded paper or card board – and eco-friendly organic materials, including nitrogen-wealthy fresh grass cuttings or plant prunings, each layer about 3-5 inches deep,’ advises Suzan.

Charles advises using compost because the primary mulch, that will add some necessary microbes to start decomposition. Also, he cautions against using wooden sided elevated beds, ‘to reduce slug hiding places.’

3. Plant

‘When first starting with no dig gardening, the soil remains fairly shallow. For that first sowings or plantings, plan shallow rooted plants or crops, for example growing lettuce and leafy vegetables, radish, arugula, boc choi, cabbage, kale, chard, and onions, advises Suzan.

‘In subsequent years, the layers you initially added to your no dig garden bed with be damaged lower a little and able to better support more deep rooted crops, for example if you are growing carrots, garlic clove, chard, mustard, peppers, peas and legumes.

You will have to top-up the layer of compost or organic matter to the top bed season after season.

Charles Dowding runs online Seed to reap courses that concentrate on how you can grow specific vegetables carrying out a no dig practice.