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

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

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

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

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
Clearing weeds
Spring in Homeacres no dig garden

Learn in depth about no dig gardening with my online courses, which contain many more videos. Course 1 covers no dig
Course 2 is about success with growing vegetables
And there is a package of both with 25% discount

The wool you see here is from Chimneysheep
The bagged compost is from New Leaf
You can buy mushroom compost from Woodland Horticulture Somerset

Immunologist Jenna Macchiochi is here
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.


To buy one of my online courses

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To join my channel as a member, use this link

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

To buy the module trays I designed with Containerwise, use this link

The Refill Room also hold stock of the module trays,

The Farm Dream for buying trays in Europe

To buy t-shirts and hoodies with my exclusive no dig designs, use this link

For fleece and mesh supplies Charles recommends Gardening Naturally

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