What is a No Dig garden? Basically there is no soil but rather layers of different ingredients that will break down to feed the plants, as they grow.
Why did I decide to create a No Dig garden? The ingredients are cheap which can be sourced locally and I wanted to try something different for our newest garden bed.
Awhile ago I erected a Hills garden bed in our selected area (an area that has at least six hours of light, with protection from the harsh Westerly sun). Our compost bin was already in that position, so we built the garden bed around it – knowing we could move the bin when the compost was ready to be used.
Now the compost bin has been removed and it’s compost contents placed into our wheel burrow (we will be using the compost shortly).
First Layer – 10 page thickness of newspaper (no glossy pages). Water the newspaper.
Second Layer – was supposed to be fresh cut grass but as our grass didn’t need cutting, I used a 10cm layer of pea straw.
Third Layer – 20cm of dry leaves (plenty of that around our garden as it is Autumn).
Mix 1 tablespoon of molasses with 9 litres of water. Using a watering can, pour this mixture onto the dry leaves (helps to break down the leaves).
Fourth Layer – 10cm of chicken manure. Mix another 9 litres of the water molasses mixture and pour on top of the manure.
Fifth Layer – 20cm of pea straw.
Continue repeating the fourth and fifth layers to fill the garden bed (to your desired height).
Then Second Top Layer – 10cm of compost.
Top Layer – 10cm of mulch (can use pea straw again or cheaper sugar cane for this top layer).
Now you can plant your seedlings straight into the garden. I planted my newspaper pots with lettuce seedlings. Once position, I just planted the lettuce seedling pots straight into the ground (newspaper, soil and seedlings).
The large terracotta pot in the middle of the garden is planted with garlic chives. With a strong odor, I hoped that they would repell any lettuce eating pests. I didn’t want to plant the garlic chives into the garden bed as they will take over.
Then to stop those pesky black birds, I created a bird proof netting using recycled electrical conduit for a support frame. The netting was pulled tight using old pavers as an anchor, so any wild life will just bounce off the net rather than getting trapped.
I’ll enjoy watching the seedlings grow…..