"No dig" vegetable growing

General Discussion
Paul Smith
Paul SmithAshby-de-la-Zouch, United Kingdom

Heyup miducks! Paul from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire.

I haven't dug a plot for several years now. I recycle cardboard boxes, lay them down on top of weeds then cover them with Horse manure. Nature does the rest.

9 comments

Elisabeth de BoisgelinLondon, United Kingdom

Hi. I am on a FB page for no dig and a question I'd like to know is - are there any glues, chemicals in cardboard?

Hi Paul, thanks for introducing yourself and welcome to the GROW Observatory. I hope that the first online course will help you understand your soil better and you might find the next course Sensing the World https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/grow-earth-sensor interesting as well. We plan a Living Soils mission later in the growing season as well where you can compare traditional and regenerative growing practices which might support your knowledge of your growing areas. If you sign up to our e-newsletter this should keep you informed on all these activities - and do follow our social media, we'd love to see some photos of your growing area.

Linda WhiteLondon, United Kingdom

Hi, I recently got an allotment and am planning no dig and an experimental hugelbed, enjoyed the course and have signed up for the next 2! Rather excited.

Sarah from GROWManchester, United Kingdom

Hi Paul. That's fascinating! I never knew you could grow in that way!

Alexandra KorteRieseby, Germany

Hej everyone, I live in the very north of Germany and have used cardboard quite a bit to get a new plot started. I find it works very well, especially with potatoes. However, there seems to be an on-going debate about possible chemicals in the cardboard and I've found it impossible to gain reliable information on this. So I use it only once to get started and save me the digging, but would not use it as an annual remedy against weeds. If you live near the coast: it also works well with seaweed on top of the cardboard.

Rita MaledduOristano, Italy

Hi, can any of you just tell how to start wuth the no-digging method. I've tried with digging 10 cm and didn't work much so I rather try something different

Helen ButtLeeds, United Kingdom

Hi Rita,

I’d try lasagne gardening as described above with cardboard and compost or manure.

I got rid of my front lawn in this way and added fertility at the same time.

Once you’ve got rid of unwanted growth from your no-dig area, you would then normally lay compost or manure on the top of your soil and let the worms take it down.

Helen ButtLeeds, United Kingdom

Re cardboard, it won’t be ‘organic’ in the sense that there are no chemicals but I don’t think its application can be comparable to say glysophate.