I’m going to give a go at growing veg in a different way. Mostly, I wanted to break the growing areas up into manageable bits. It’s a visual trick really, but I figured it was all so much less daunting if you could see it as one small bed at a time, rather than a massive unmanageable area. OK so the beds aren’t that small but still…
With this in mind, I researched various gardening set ups and am planning on dabbling with the no-dig method.
I have always ignored it as a method, because quite frankly the do-dig method works very well. There I said it. Furthermore, I’m going on to say both methods appear to work. Controversial of me, I know – as usually people have to choose a side and laugh at the other. With the ‘old allotment boys’ laughing at the folk who “think they don’t have to do any work” and the no-dig gardeners rolling their eyes at the ‘old allotment boys’ and sighing “at what cost to the soil” and stating that the old method doesn’t work… and “why do work you don’t have to do?” and so on.
It’s ignorance that is the problem – no-dig doesn’t mean no work – seems to me there is a lot of time spent moving compost about and mulching and weeding. And the digging method does work, because you know….people have been using it all this time. I really dislike the snorting and laughing at the other camp – it doesn’t matter – do whatever works for you. I particularly dislike being told by anyone without successful experience…
Anyways, most of my experience with veg growing has been by trial and error – this is true for most gardeners and different things will work with different climates and different soils etc.
As I read more about it, it turns out that some of the things we just naturally arrived at doing, fit in with the no-dig way – for example I try to start as many plants as possible as modules in the greenhouse – they just do better. And I haven’t fed my tomato plants in years … well.. forever. Because we always replenish the greenhouse with compost from the compost heap. And as it goes I always put the wood ash from the fire on the heaps so there is no potash shortage, and have always had good tomato crops. Also when adding compost to the veg beds before planting out the hungry plants – like squashes beans and sweetcorn, we have just added a layer of compost on top. These are all part of the no-dig method, and I have been doing it all along. Who knew.
There are lots of calls on my time in other areas of life, and a certain amount of stumbling about trying to find my feet in difficult times… so no promises. But these new beds are inspiring, and doing things differently suits.
So, it’s tweaking my veg growing habits into a slightly new but actually not that new way. And venturing back out gradually, one smaller bed at a time.