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Old 21-03-2006, 09:43 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
George.com
 
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Default No dig gardens

Has anyone experimented with, made use of, no dig gardening? I'm interested
in your experiences and opinions, how you got started, successes or failures
etc.

My definition of no dig involves:
minimal tillage of the soil, short of scratching the surface to sow seed or
harvest root vegetables
leaving spent plants in place to degrade in the garden, add nutrients to the
soil or self seed
using surface mulches to suppress weeds and add nutrients that slowly leach
in to the soil
using green mulches like legumes or clover to add nitrogen to the soil
crop rotation to protect the integrity of the soil, for instance following
leafy plants with root crops etc

Thanks in advance for your contribution

rob



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Old 21-03-2006, 10:33 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
George.com
 
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Default No dig gardens


"simy1" wrote in message
oups.com...
In regard to leaving spent plants in place, it works if the rotation is
strict. You leave tomatoes in a patch because you know there will be no
tomatoes there next year.


can you explain a little more this concept please?

rob


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Old 21-03-2006, 11:59 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
George.com
 
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Default No dig gardens


"George.com" wrote in message
...
Has anyone experimented with, made use of, no dig gardening? I'm

interested
in your experiences and opinions, how you got started, successes or

failures
etc.

My definition of no dig involves:
minimal tillage of the soil, short of scratching the surface to sow seed

or
harvest root vegetables
leaving spent plants in place to degrade in the garden, add nutrients to

the
soil or self seed
using surface mulches to suppress weeds and add nutrients that slowly

leach
in to the soil
using green mulches like legumes or clover to add nitrogen to the soil
crop rotation to protect the integrity of the soil, for instance following
leafy plants with root crops etc

Thanks in advance for your contribution

rob


perhaps a point of clarification needed here, my original explaination may
not have been specific enough. It is not the proces of constructing a no dig
garden I am wondering about, through thanks to those who have made usueful
suggestions in that area. It is actually in the process of gardening,
propogating, rearing plants using a no dig approach, no tillage of the soil,
low input, low labour, 'do nothing' process. What got be interested
initially was this guys thoughts

Masanobu Fukuoka http://larryhaftl.com/ffo/fover.html

It sounded like a really good lazy way (and sustainable) of growing veges n
herbs. I have only started experimenting.

The way my dad and grandad used to do vege gardens of digging in compost and
manure every year, digging over weeds, spending hours preparing beds seemed
labour intensive. They seemed to need to constantly put back nutrients into
the soil as the process of rearing veges stripped the nutrients out.
Moreover the more I read the more is suggested that constantly tilling the
soil to nay significant depth actually damages the soil structure and its
potency.

Fukuoka says that leaving the nutrients where they are greatly reduces this
robbing of the soils vitality and nature and worms will dig organic matter
in to the soil for you. That sounds good in theory, I hope someone has
matched it in reality and can report on that.

rob


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Old 22-03-2006, 12:38 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
JennyC
 
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Default No dig gardens


"George.com" wrote in message
...
Has anyone experimented with, made use of, no dig gardening? I'm interested
in your experiences and opinions, how you got started, successes or failures
etc.

My definition of no dig involves:
minimal tillage of the soil, short of scratching the surface to sow seed or
harvest root vegetables
leaving spent plants in place to degrade in the garden, add nutrients to the
soil or self seed
using surface mulches to suppress weeds and add nutrients that slowly leach
in to the soil
using green mulches like legumes or clover to add nitrogen to the soil
crop rotation to protect the integrity of the soil, for instance following
leafy plants with root crops etc

Thanks in advance for your contribution

rob


Interesting concept !!
Never looked into it before, but you've started me off :~)

Seems to be a big thing in Australia, in fact there are courses a stones throws
away from you:
http://www.waverley.nsw.gov.au/counc...odiggarden.asp

More info and how to:
http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/pu...rth/garden.htm

Even the RHS has info on it:
http://www.rhs.org.uk/publications/p..._garden_0299_d
ig.asp

and of course Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_dig_gardening

Do keep us posted on your efforts. Pictures would be good .........
Jenny





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Old 22-03-2006, 01:12 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
La Puce
 
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Default No dig gardens


JennyC wrote:
Interesting concept !!
Never looked into it before, but you've started me off :~)


Really?! Where have you been?! ;o)

This is my second year - kept all the legumes (broad beans, peas,
beans) bed as it is but clean up a bit by just taking out the wires,
mesh and poles. Kept all the plants there and they have all decomposed
on top, giving the top surface a smooth dark tilth, which I just raked
lightly, for my cucurbitas this year. The potatoes this year will be
covered with straw and grass and on the new plot (given to me recently
by the committee ouuerr...) I'll use one bed for spuds using the
traditional method to see which one is best. Where the potatoes where
last year I have just kept as it is, won't touch anything beside raking
a bit to level. My legumes will go in there. My neighbour has started
this process 3 years ago - she uses chicken pooh and tonnes of grass
clipings. Her veg patch received an award last week end for the
previous summer. Our tribe got praised for the creation of Edward
Twigorhands, a very elaborate (and realistic) scarecrow and an award
for my wild flower patch blush



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Old 22-03-2006, 01:41 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
 
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Default No dig gardens

The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book
How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back

How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back by Ruth Stout
Lasagna Gardening : A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No
Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! by Patricia Lanza

My step father knew Ruth and Rex Stout. He took my mother for a visit and she became
a Ruth Stout convert. my mother did have a bad back already. \
Ingrid



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Old 22-03-2006, 11:14 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
[email protected]
 
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Default No dig gardens

oh yeah. mom didnt meet him tho. my stepfather knew him tho. Ingrid

"Mike Lyle" wrote:

wrote:
The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book
How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back

How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back by Ruth Stout
Lasagna Gardening : A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No
Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! by Patricia Lanza

My step father knew Ruth and Rex Stout. He took my mother for a
visit and she became a Ruth Stout convert. my mother did have a bad
back already. \
Ingrid


Rex Stout, as in Nero Wolfe?




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www.drsolo.com
Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame
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I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site.
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Old 23-03-2006, 02:24 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
simy1
 
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Default No dig gardens

sure, in fact it is the only form of gardening I practice. details
below.

George.com wrote:
Has anyone experimented with, made use of, no dig gardening? I'm interested
in your experiences and opinions, how you got started, successes or failures
etc.

My definition of no dig involves:
minimal tillage of the soil, short of scratching the surface to sow seed or
harvest root vegetables


You have to rake clean those parts of the garden where you expect to
broadcast seeds directly.

leaving spent plants in place to degrade in the garden, add nutrients to the
soil or self seed


I allow mache, arugula, and miner lettuce (plus purslane, a weed) to
self-seed. They are cold weather small greens that can grow
uncospicuously when nothing else grows, or in the shade of bigger
plants.

using surface mulches to suppress weeds and add nutrients that slowly leach
in to the soil


of course. I even try to plan two years ahead. If I know there will be
big plants for two years in a bed, I tend to use wood chips, which will
decompose slowly. If I want the bed clean next year, I use leaves that
disappear in a year

using green mulches like legumes or clover to add nitrogen to the soil


no. I have plenty of the real manure.

crop rotation to protect the integrity of the soil, for instance following
leafy plants with root crops etc


yes, but typically only two years rotation.


Thanks in advance for your contribution

rob




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Old 23-03-2006, 03:09 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
simy1
 
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Default No dig gardens

In regard to leaving spent plants in place, it works if the rotation is
strict. You leave tomatoes in a patch because you know there will be no
tomatoes there next year. Not removing the plants certainly saves you a
few hours work in the Fall.

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Old 23-03-2006, 08:04 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
Farm1
 
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Default No dig gardens

"George.com" wrote in message
...
Has anyone experimented with, made use of, no dig gardening? I'm

interested
in your experiences and opinions, how you got started, successes or

failures
etc.

My definition of no dig involves:
minimal tillage of the soil, short of scratching the surface to sow

seed or
harvest root vegetables
leaving spent plants in place to degrade in the garden, add

nutrients to the
soil or self seed
using surface mulches to suppress weeds and add nutrients that

slowly leach
in to the soil
using green mulches like legumes or clover to add nitrogen to the

soil
crop rotation to protect the integrity of the soil, for instance

following
leafy plants with root crops etc

Thanks in advance for your contribution


My experience (in Australia) is that the beds tend to dry out in the
searing heat of midsummer and they are then a real devil to moisten
again. They work reasonably well if you can keep them moist. My
advice would be to use lucerne (aka alfalfa) in slabs as the base, and
to put in pockets of potting mix or good compost where you want to
plant seeds/seedlings. Prepare the bales of lucerne by leaving them
to sit in the garden for a while and "mature". By that I mean to
start rotting down. I put them direct on the soil and let them get
wet as I turn on the sprinkler then turn them every month or when I
remember so that a new surface is then presented to the soil. If you
can do this where the no-dig bed is to go then you will start to
notice the build up of worms (and the worms will aslo start to
colonise the rotting base of the bale) and you'll notice an increased
richness of the soil where the bale has been sitting. This makes it a
bit easier to get the bed going. Also I never use newspaper on the
bottom. I've found it doesn't work for me and stops the microgoobies
from starting to work in the bed.


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Old 23-03-2006, 09:54 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
lwhaley
 
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Default No dig gardens


George.com wrote:
Has anyone experimented with, made use of, no dig gardening? I'm interested
in your experiences and opinions, how you got started, successes or failures
etc.



I have used a variation on no dig gardening. The city i lived in had
free compost from grass clippings and leaves. I brought home a few
truckloads and just dumped them on the ground to create my planting bed
with no further preparation. I had good success.

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Old 23-03-2006, 02:27 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
simy1
 
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Default No dig gardens

There are certain plants that catch diseases. I leave all greens and
all root crops and all bulbs in place, because they never catch
anything, but tomatoes, cucurbita, beans and cabbage, if I know I am
not going to rotate next year, I prefer to remove. Most of my tomatoes
are healthy, but there is one particular heirloom that is hit or miss.
And the cukes get the wilt.

Otherwise it is efficient to harvest the vegetable, clean it on the
spot, and drop the remains on the ground. It saves you a trip to the
compost pile, and trip back.

Other things I have learned: absolutely mulch at the very last minute
before planting, and preferrably after last frost. If you mulch in
march, because you don't have much else to do, you will have cold soil
in May.

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Old 23-03-2006, 02:31 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening,rec.gardens.edible,rec.gardens
simy1
 
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Default No dig gardens

well, if you get good quality veggies, they will take away a lot of
nutrients. No till eliminates tilling, weeding, and reduces fertilizing
and watering, but you can not grow great chard with leaves compost only
(though you can with manure).
You do need either manure or some chemical fertilizer, at least with
some veggies. Or you need to grow a lot of peas and beans.
Also, no till eventually becomes very friendly to slugs. Now organic
slug bait is available everywhere, so this is no longer a problem.



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