Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

If you're just starting out in the world of kitchen garden growing, then this is the place to ask for help. Our experienced forum members may have the answer you need!

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vivienz
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby vivienz » Mon May 14, 2018 9:48 pm

Duh, ignore me, Robo, I've just re-read your earlier post and seen the answer to my question. It's getting late and I don't make much sense earlier in the day!
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robo
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby robo » Mon May 14, 2018 10:05 pm

My beds are all 12x4 feet except for one which is eight x four , it's not the first time I've grown through cardboard I did it last year but only on one bed this year it's three beds up to now and the borders in the pollytunnel the idea in the pollytunnel it to try and keep blight at bay , the other reasons through family illness I find my time I can spend down the plot limited I don't think I will have much time for weeding this summer
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Colin2016
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby Colin2016 » Tue May 15, 2018 7:15 am

Robo interested in your growing through cardboard, is this purely to keep slugs at bay or are there other benefits.

Wondering if this keeps the ground wetter like when you put chippings on top?
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robo
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby robo » Tue May 15, 2018 8:53 am

It's just to keep weeds down and it breaks down over summer and fertilises the soil
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Stephen
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby Stephen » Sat Oct 06, 2018 3:53 pm

I went on a Charles Dowding weekend and he and his work was very impressive.

The big "but" in the system is a really good supply of manure/green-bin compost. You really can not produce enough yourself, it will have to be imported in trailer fulls (note the plural). His site had two very substantial heaps of material ready to use. I can usually secure one trailer load each year and it doesn't come close to covering my plot in the way Charles uses it.

So your supply also needs to be cheap! (This isn't neccesarily a problem, forexample South Cambridgeshire will supply a truckload for the cost of delivery! OTOH here in Dacorum they will give ratepayers two bag fulls on a single day if you queue outside their depot - it all goes in a couple of hours)

One thing for certain is the "no dig" does not mean "no heavy work".
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Colin2016
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby Colin2016 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:32 pm

Fully agree Stephen. I have been using the plastic dalek type but no very impressed, have just built two pallet size composting bays which are working great 60/70 degrees, looking to have 6 bays eventually.

I have neighbours saving me their cardboard/pruning/food waste etc plus having access to free horse poo couple bags a day is helpful but if no available there is always plenty for 50p per bag.

Found this site on http://homecompostingmadeeasy.com/addasyougopile.html helpfull

"One thing for certain is the "no dig" does not mean "no heavy work"."

Once it is set up all it needs is a couple inchs top up each year so does get easier.
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Stephen
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby Stephen » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:24 pm

Hi Colin
I have 3 daleks, on the allotment. I do agree that there must be a better way but I have one which is full and ready for use. I find the initial breakdown is quite good but that it slows down later (grass in particular seems to hold its shape). Mostly I smash stuff up before chucking it in (this is often a time issue).
Maybe this winter I can scrounge a lot of pallets.
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oldherbaceous
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby oldherbaceous » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:50 pm

Afternoon Stephen, if you have an industrial estate near you, there are often decent pallets laying about, or in skips....might pay just to ask before you take them though!
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby peter » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:24 pm

My local plumbers merchant leaves them out from and put up a permsnent metall sign inviting people to help themselves.

Sometimes there are long ones or noddy little ones, but blink and you miss them. I go armed with tools and an empty boot and am 3 of 5 met with an empty space.
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vivienz
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Re: Starting a no-dig kitchen garden from scratch

Postby vivienz » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:40 pm

Can you tell us a little more about your Charles Dowding weekend, please, Stephen?

I'm getting to the stage with our new build when most of the outside work (for me) will be done and I can finally start thinking about getting my no-dig beds set up so that they can overwinter nicely and be ready for planting in the spring. I had a trench dug today, very close to where the beds will be, to bury an electricity cable. There was a reasonable layer of topsoil but still masses of clay after about 40cm. Definitely no-dig for me!
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