Start Out No Dig, one method with cardboard and compost



My “maximum compost” method for starting out. Add a lot to make new beds, then very little in subsequent years. See the sequel to how we grew potatoes and leeks, on the beds in this video’s thumbnail https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhKxC7oZQuo

The cardboard is only for this stage of smothering weeds – keep them in the dark and they expire! Then you don’t need to lay any more cardboard, once there are no weeds.
For how to continue, see my Tools and Techniques video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ic0LrNBuSi4

You can use less compost. Lay thick card on weeds then 2in/5cm compost asap in early spring, and wet the card if it’s dry. Then use a trowel to ‘cut’ potato size holes in the card and a little into the weedy soil below, to pop in a seed potato. This can give some harvest by summer, while killing weeds too, but you must pull any weeds you see 🙂
Using less compost for no dig https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC6OBOyQ0mY

If you do not have access to any compost, use old leaves, manure at least half-decomposed – or at limit the one month old you see in this video. Results in year one will be less brilliant than in subsequent years, but you will be clearing weeds easily as well as having a harvest.
Vegetables like potatoes, squash and zucchini grow well though cardboard and less-perfect compost. After they finish you could plant kale or leeks etc.

POSTSCRIPT JULY 2020 the Charlotte potatoes from the two beds in the thumbnail photo gave 54kg/119lb. Then we transplanted looks.

My website has a Start No Dig page https://charlesdowding.co.uk/start-here/

See my other videos for information about:
How I started at Homeacres, year one in 2013 although I was not making videos until the first autumn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HATC3rG6NbQ
Clearing weeds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mmv2zGfhG8w
Propagation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ5csH9K3aw
Spring in Homeacres no dig garden https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imwNA4iCtBc

Learn in depth about no dig gardening with my online courses, which contain many more videos. Course 1 covers no dig https://charlesdowding.co.uk/product/online-course-1-no-dig-gardening/
Course 2 is about success with growing vegetables https://charlesdowding.co.uk/product/online-course-2-growing-success/
And there is a package of both with 25% discount https://charlesdowding.co.uk/product/online-courses-1-and-2/

The wool you see here is from Chimneysheep https://www.chimneysheep.co.uk/product/wool-felt-mulch-larger-areas/
The bagged compost is from New Leaf https://www.newleafcompost.com/
You can buy mushroom compost from Woodland Horticulture Somerset https://www.woodlandhp.co.uk/product/mushroom-compost/

Immunologist Jenna Macchiochi is here https://www.drjennamacciochi.com/
Find more information about no dig and my garden on Instagram charles_dowding and Twitter @charlesdowding
Filmed at Homeacres 18th March 2020 by David Adams.

MORE FROM CHARLES

To buy one of my online courses https://charlesdowding.co.uk/product-category/online-courses/

To by a book https://charlesdowding.co.uk/product-category/books/

To join an in person Day or Weekend course at Homeacres https://charlesdowding.co.uk/product-category/courses/

To join my channel as a member, use this link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCB1J6siDdmhwah7q0O2WJBg/join

As a member, you can watch a new video each month, which is exclusively for members. Your payments support my promotion and teaching of better, easier gardening. I can offer bursaries for day courses and online courses, through individuals in charge of community gardens/allotments and school gardens. Contact us through my website to enquire about bursaries https://charlesdowding.co.uk/contact-us/

To buy the module trays I designed with Containerwise, use this link https://containerwise.co.uk/product/charles-dowding-60-cell/

The Refill Room also hold stock of the module trays, https://www.refillroom.com/product-category/garden/

The Farm Dream for buying trays in Europe https://thefarmdream.com/product-category/propagation-trays/

To buy t-shirts and hoodies with my exclusive no dig designs, use this link https://charlesdowding.teemill.com

For fleece and mesh supplies Charles recommends Gardening Naturally https://www.paidonresults.net/c/57860/1/1762/0

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