Talk – No Dig at Galleywood in Essex
October 24 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
This is for Galleywood Horticultural Society’s celebrity event, now that no dig gardening is so well known, and I shall explain my methods, show the results.
No dig is the easiest way to a successful vegetable and fruit garden, and it’s suitable for all levels of experience. I explain how you can have more enjoyment, through cutting out unnecessary jobs.
Save time with quicker methods: we look at many misunderstandings which have a common theme: they waste the gardener’s time, from digging and washing pots to making large planting holes and separating bindweed roots from other compost ingredients. I explain how these misunderstandings have arisen and illustrate quicker ways to achieve best results.
I had this comment from an architect in Suffolk:
“The new garden (which now feeds my young family) was established using ‘no dig’. It works – it’s so simple and time saving. I’ll admit I was sceptical, and I’ll admit I was wrong!”
And this is one of many similar comments to my You Tube videos:
“We’re just now entering year 2 of no dig and it certainly is very enjoyable compared to past years of endless weeding and bed preparation.”
The talk is full of photos of my garden during 80 minutes of inspiration and information. Encourage soil life and enjoy harvests, more quickly and easily, followed by questions and answers. Special tips for seasonal sowing, not quite yet!
I show how I make and use compost at Homeacres, and also illustrate some different composts you can buy. Details of 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.
Compost is the best mulch in out damp UK climate, because it does not offer habitat to slugs. Avoid mulching with straw or hay. Paths can have mulches of half-decomposed and small pieces of wood, but always being careful not to increase slug habitat.
Nutrients become available when needed by plants, through a combination of
- air and soil temperatures being high enough for plant photosynthesis/metabolism, which causes roots to signal fungi with requests for food, and moisture too
- fungi in compost and soil, mainly mycorrhizae, which are able to find nutrients (and moisture) for roots.
Chemical fertilisers are a chancy and polluting way to feed plants because they are water soluble, damage soil fungi and they may be leached out by rain, before plants can use them all.
After my talk, I take questions, then have books for sale including Steph’s Creative Kitchen, and a wall calendar.
The photo is my Small Garden project, October 2018
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)