The concept of a no-dig gardening method was popularized in 1970 by a gardener Esther Dean from Sydney. He was trying to minimize gardening efforts along with attaining maximum soil fertility. No-dig gardening method mainly consists of organic material layers that are stacked to make a raised and rich gardening area. The height of the no-dig garden is adjusted according to the requirements. Annual flowers, vegetable seedlings, bulbs, herbs, strawberries, and other kind vegetation can easily grow and survive in a no-dig garden.
Nowadays, the no-dig gardening method is gaining significant attention from farmers and gardeners. Over the past few years, it is widely used for growing vegetables and other crops.
No-Dig Gardening Method
Benefits of No-Dig Gardening Method
No-dig garden is easy to set anywhere, on concrete, inside a box frame, or on a lawn. The no-dig gardening method is the easiest method to grow vegetation. If the conditions of soil are not ideal for vegetation, then the desired soil mix can be created following a no-dig method. The no-dig method leads to enhanced soil fertility as it decomposes organic matter. Many nutrients are added to the soil, and the growth of beneficial soil organisms is favoured.
One can add any available good material to the soil, such as high-quality compost, organic materials that have high carbon contents such as autumn leaves, grass clippings, and straws. Large amounts of manure can be added too. Adding newspapers is great, this way you can recycle old newspapers too.
As compared to other gardening methods, some more time is required for the no-dig method. It causes an overall improvement in the health of the soil and favors the population of soil biota. Digging breaks fungal threads in the soil which makes the soil not as suitable to support plant growth. No dig system of gardening enhances the relationship between soil organisms and improves the health of soil for plant growth.
Establishing a No-Dig Garden Setup
The primary purpose of digging the soil is to eliminate harmful weeds to maintain optimum conditions for plant growth. Rather than digging the soil, a good approach is to smoothen the soil. Annual grasses and weeds have a short life cycle and only have few reserves. If their exposure to sunlight is reduced, then in time, the weeds will die. Perennial weeds are unconquerable and tenacious, so they can be snuffed out if the soil is smoothened for a longer time. When access to light is reduced by covering them, most annual weeds will die after 2-3 months. However, it may take a year for more robust plants.
There is a good population of microorganisms and macroorganisms, which improves the moisture and nutrient contents and ultimately improves the health of plants in a No-Dig Garden set up.
You can also add organic matter and compost to improve the soil structure and fertility status of the soil. Sometimes, it’s also excellent to add cardboard’s along with organic matter. The cardboard should be sturdy brown to make a watertight base. This is basically mulch, you can learn what is mulching and how to make your own mulch.
Maintenance of No-Dig Garden
Little maintenance is needed for the no-dig garden, and if you have a garden already then it can easily be converted to a no-dig garden. At the end of each growing season, the layers of compost and organic material will be well rotten, and the quality of soil will be significantly improved. At this time, the layers of the no-dig garden should be replenished, but this replenishment should be done at the end of the summer and winter season.
For replenishing these layers, a layer of good quality manure should be added. This layer of compost or organic material should be covered with a straw layer. Water your garden after adding more layers.
Over irrigation should be avoided; otherwise, it will lead to the diseases and pest attacks. After this, there is no need to go for complex management practices throughout the growing season. As a result time and effort are greatly reduced. Additionally, the no-dig gardening method is helpful to conserve water, energy, and maintains brilliant soil health and ecology.
Growveg has done a wonderfull video highlighting the benefits of no-dig gardening and how to set up a no-dig garden.
Do you have any experience of a no-dig garden? It’s really wonderful to watch nature work on its own. You only have to give your garden a little bit of help and it will thrive.