Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Creating a Vegetable Garden the No-Dig Way

Don't get me wrong, it may be a no-dig creation, but spades have definitely been involved. However, the method I've used has been infinitely easier than trying to dig over the horribly compacted and heavily stone ridden soil we were left with after the concrete came up.

I have revisited our experiments using cardboard mulches to clear weed infested ground. I started by strimming down the vegetable garden area, which was almost waist high in places with self seeded plants. On top of this, I'm laying out a layer of cardboard, and just to make sure those pesky weeds don't peek through, I'm giving them a good 20cm overlap between pieces. I managed to salvage some fab really large boxes from our local bike shop and more from the lovely ladies at The Threshings Barn nearby.

I'm loading up this base layer with a nice deep covering of soil, with wood chip for the paths. After lots of hunting around, I managed to find a local supplier of municipal waste based compost, which was delivered along with a huge load of local topsoil. And my tree surgeon friend has very kindly dropped off several loads of wood chip waste for us to use for the paths.

I've sown the new beds with green manure seeds to cover the ground with plants. It's getting late in the year now, but forage pea can still be sown until the end of November, so that's what I've put in.

From the spring time onwards, I've got a  succession of deep rooting green manures due to go in, which by then should be able to break through the cardboard layer to help loosen up the compacted soil structure below.

I'll keep it all covered in green manure for at least a year, so none of it will be planted out with vegetables until at least next autumn. I'm still kept pretty busy with the kids, so after that, I'll just be opening up beds for vegetable growing two or three beds at a time to see how much it adds to my gardening work load. The rest can remain under green manure for a while.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails