No Dig Growing at the Allotment

The No-Dig is exactly 'what it says on the tin'. Time saving and easier to manage so that you can enjoy your vegetable growing without the back breaking labour. Not only that, it doesn't disturb soil structure, the weeds decompose into the ground along with the organic matter (compost and/or manure). Dug over soil is more open and can dry out easily and offers less support to plants.

If you're new to No Dig, you can start with a small area to see how you feel about it before taking it further.  Choose an ioe area away from shady trees and their root systems; nice and flat but you can fill in any dips with any mounded parts. 

To begin with mark out your area and cover it with cardboard or similar biodegradable weed suppression, it might be that you want to make the area weed-free to start with but it's not necessary as you can layer the surface and then add compost on top before planting out. 

 

No Dig doesn't have to mean raised beds although this is a popular option and is especially useful for those that are less mobile. You may want to do a ground level bed and add a border. It's important to create surrounding paths that are mulched, suppressed of weeds - You can use bark, woodchips, stones and more bt plenty of it. Grassy borders can cause issues with the bed itself.

You will need a decent amount of compost before planting and then you may wish to also add mulch dependent on what you're growing and the level of weeds - If its really dense with weeds you may want to layer it up more so.

You can start preparing your beds any time of year. The cardboard will rot into the soil and in the meantime kill off weeds and then allow your plants to root down into the soil. Your beds and bordering paths will require a regular top up of compost and mulch.

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