Talk at RHS Malvern Spring Festival – 7th May
May 07 @ 12:00 pm -
I give an illustrated explanation of how to have healthy soil and enjoy easier harvests, followed by questions and answers.
Be entertained by a world expert on easier ways to grow, and immerse yourself in the beautiful garden photos.
My advice covers many topics:
- how to make, buy and use compost of different kinds
- how to clear perennial weeds with mulches, including couch grass and bindweed
- how to maintain a no dig plot, with an annual mulch of compost
- how to look after path soil so it stays fertile and with few weeds
As well as reducing the time and effort needed to cultivate and weed, no dig has many other benefits, which I explain.
Most soil already has a good structure for plant roots to grow, and is full of growth-enabling organisms. Millions of fungal threads, nematodes and earthworms, to name a few, are being helpful right under our feet, mostly out of sight. We need to help them to help us.
You have already started no dig without knowing! Since the last time you dug or tilled or forked your soil, it has been healing itself, with networks of fungi, breeding of health-bringing organisms and recreation of a stable structure. Simply build on that, it’s easy to created good structure and drainage, plus there are unexpected benefits.
You see photos of the trials I run to compare the effects on growth of dig/no dig, different composts and no rotation. The overall theme is saving time.
I started this method four years ago and I wish Id known about it decades earlier. We had just bought a big rototiller to start all of our beds before I discovered no dig and ended up selling it. This method works very very well and for very little effort or money.
Fantastic Value is the comment I heard over and over again by attendees of your Nottingham talk. Thank you for giving us such a fulsome and lengthly talk with lovely photos
I have learned so much from watching your videos. You’re an excellent teacher — concise and generous at the same time. You helped rekindle my love of growing food. Thank you!
I can’t stop watching these videos. Far better than any gardening programme on television. Now I just need to get a garden of my own!
I started no dig after coming across Charles’ You Tube videos and deciding to give the weed supression “hocus pocus” a go with some well rotted compost I had. I spread this on some rose beds and another flower bed that would take me a total of about 3 hours to weed once a month, prolific deep weeds on a heavy clay base. I could not believe the results. Weeds did come up but 15 mins of hoeing and all gone and now hardly any….plus the roses and plants looked the best they have for seven years. I was totally bitten!!!
“Many thanks for making the journey to Sheffield last week, and providing such a fantastic and stimulating talk for our audience. Everyone loved it!”
Gareth Roberts of Regather
Sheffield’s Festival of Debate Talk Attendee
“Charles has become the guru of no dig gardening. He’s a really good grower, organic, has fabulous produce and we went down to Somerset to see how he does it…. I’m a convert now, I want to dig as little as possible.”
BBC Gardeners World
I came on a course last August, and it has given me so much direction and understanding in my gardening thinking. And your updates through the winter are an absolute tonic.
@charles_dowding has changed my life! I tried for so many years to grow veg, read loads of books and just made a lot of slugs very happy. In 2016 I decided to give it one last try before packing it in. I religiously followed his book, sticking to exactly the varieties he recommended. I followed his sowing times on the monthly Newsletter and the difference in what I can grow has been phenomenal! Having regular pickings of salads like this at this time of year used to be a far off dream!
Kat Hall (@there.she.grows)