For many people, digging a garden is a chore. Difficult and time-consuming, it can be enough to put you off gardening for life! For such gardeners, a 'no-dig' garden may be the answer. It's so easy and offers the reward of healthy and tasty home-grown vegetables.
Choose a site about 1.5m x 3m that is relatively level and gets a minimum of six hours' sun (eight hours is better) in both summer and winter. When your garden proves a success you can make it bigger.
For the first layer, put down something that smothers the weeds. Thick wads of wet newspaper are great. They can contain good or bad news - it won't make any difference! Overhang the paper edges to stop the weeds coming through. Avoid the temptation to read the newspaper as you work, though it's strange how you always find the most interesting news morsels at this time.
Now build up your no-dig garden with layers of organic material. Debco Organic Mix and Organic Compost makes a good base, and can be followed by a thick (200mm) layer of well-matured home-made compost.
Keep alternating these layers until the garden is 450-600mm high.
You can add layers of whatever organic materials you have available. You could add shredded autumn leaves piled up over winter, or old straw from a horse-stable. As your garden matures you can ad d new layers to maintain a good, deep, rich organic layer.
You can either grow plants from seeds or use seedlings from your local nursery planted into the organi c pile. If you are planting seeds, spread a layer of Debco Seed Raising Mix onto the surface. Sow your seeds, covering them thinly with another layer of Seed Raising Mix. Keep them moist and when they germinate, thin them out as directed on the pack.
Don't forget to use successive sowings of plants to make sure you have on-going crops, especially of lettuce, radish, spinach, cauliflowers, and other varieties where you will be removing the plant as you harvest.
Alternatively you can use seedlings from your local nursery planted directly into your organic pile. Simply pull back the surface and plant your seedlings into the rich pile. You'll find it very easy to work your no-dig garden.
Apply fertilisers as you need them. I like to use Debco Plant Food at half strength on my seedlings every two weeks. As they mature, I apply it at full strength.
You'll find your 'no-dig' garden so easy; you'll wish you had made it bigger to start with. But that's the joy - you can always expand it to suit your needs.