Testimonials

I am so encouraged to receive an enormous amount of feedback from happy gardeners. We show a selection here and have categorised it into particular areas of interest, to help you see how others are responding.

I have been viewing other ways of gardening and their methods become very complicated.  What I see you do in the garden and the results you obtain from it makes a person want to run outside and start gardening. Gale Timpone on You Tube February, 2020

Book

I have started reading ‘No Dig Organic Home & Garden’, bought as I realised how many things I was doing wrong and not finding much help in the books I had / online searches. It is really clear, helpful and is guiding me to understand how I could do better.  Thank you very much, it’s brilliant!  Ann, May 2020


Our allotment in Axminster is going great this year. We are no dig devotees and I have converted at least 6 fellow allotmenteers (and my sister) to operate in the same way. We are all now avid Charles Dowding followers.
Keep up the good work. We hope to visit you should an open day in the late summer be possible.
Karin, Axminster, May 2020

Charles’s book, How to create a new Vegetable Garden, is very well written and does not assume any prior knowledge.  It really does include all the necessary information to start a garden from scratch.  The glossary is so detailed that it alone is worth the price of the book!
Michael, Germany, April 2020

Jessica received the calendar and diary that I had ordered for her complete with the lovely dedications, thank you so much.
She is so enthused after watching a lot of your videos and has got busy sowing in modules and building a compost heap etc.
The diary is an Ideal aid for her to get the timings right and help keep her on track.
She was very late sending me her regular morning text the other day, the reason she gave was that she had got lost down a Charles Dowding wormhole on youtube! I knew exactly what she meant, your videos are such good viewing and you can soon lose an hour with them. Ben, April 2020

I am simply mesmerized by your teaching and your believing in Nature. I am now loaded with many books of yours, calendar and courses. I am very very much enjoying it and today i’ll pick the first lettuce leaves for lunch (:   Melita, April 2020


I last messaged you about creating my vegetable no dig beds having removed turf (before I had seen your advice related to using cardboard on to of the grass). Well the compost was added (some bought, some home made from 2 year old leaf mould, and I am pleased to say that with the help from your Diary I have broad beens and peas looking happy (now without fleece cover) and cabbage, beetroot, khlorabi, spring onion and bulb onion plants grown from seed all under fleece. The first row of carrots and a row of parsnips sown  and also first and second early potatoes. Lettuce plants remain in trays since thinning await but once they are in my beds will be full! I have accumulated all the cardboard I need for additional beds but alas the covid-19 situation means that I can not get hold of the compost. In hope that thsi will be possible later in the year I will at least double my growing space.
Thanks so much for your wonderful site, your infectious enthusiasm and extremely useful diary. I have to admit to being a very impatient gardener so I can’t wait to see the beds fill out as well as tasting the home grown vegetables. I am already planning what to sow for the next half year crop. Rob, April 2020


It’s always good to have a reminder of what the main gardening tasks are month by month. But this diary does more than that. Even though I have been gardening for decades I can dive into this book and pick up gems of information never before encountered. Charles is a truly good gardener with an amazing willingness to share his knowledge.


I’m a beginner gardener and discovered your work sometime last year. I have since read about five of your books including your latest one with Steph.

I grew a small amount of veg last year, but now feel much better informed after reading your books and have started to create new beds and ramp things up this year.


Received the calendar today. I haven’t been so excited to read through a book like this for a while and so much information and tips in photos each month as well! Can’t thank you enough! I’m going to hang it up in workshop at school!


As a new allotment holder I was looking for a single point of reference to help me start growing. Boy did I find it! This book has become my go to guide, seeing me through my first year like a guiding hand. I can’t recommend it enough for new growers or people who have done lots of growing but are prepared to consider new techniques. No dig does work. On my clay soil allotment in my first year I laid down some compost and now have courgettes, carrots, beans, peas, asparagus turnips, fruit trees, sweetcorn and there’s more to come. It is so true that the soil is better undisturbed. This book also has useful advice about what to grow and when, even if you aren’t doing no dig. Honestly invaluable.


Your Diary has proved invaluable this year and we most definitely would recommend getting to others who follow your amazing No Dig methodology. I’m looking forward to seeing your 2020 Calendar soon! Thank you Charles for sharing your life’s work nurturing our earth.


Compost

I had absolutely no prior knowledge of making compost before watching your video and reading your books – so proof indeed that not only do your methods work but your teaching and presentation of information is also spot-on.
I am thoroughly enjoying your online courses and learning so much.  Paul, Suffolk, April 2020


I started my compost bins after being inspired by your videos in 2018. I had previously given up on composting because it was too hard to turn them as often as the garden books always insist.


I find that often people try and put rules on composting like, the weed roots, citrus rinds, need for hot compost. I think they want to convince folks they are an expert. You sir, have earned expert status in my book! Relaxed, realistic, and simple advice! Thank you for encouraging people to give composting a try!


Homeacres course

Thank you SO much for such a great day at Homeacres today!
I feel really inspired and excited to get on with my own “No Dig” veg garden!
Even the weather couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm! It was lovely to see so much produce already growing in the garden and the poly tunnel not to mention the greenhouse! The time just flew past!
And the food was just as inspiring as the garden…I could definitely become a vegetarian, eating food like that! All in all, a brilliant day, probably one to be repeated!  Lesina, March 2020

Walter and I so enjoyed meeting you and Stephanie and seeing your beautiful gardens with our own eyes.  It all really is as spectacular as your books make it seem!

We took a million notes and learned so many new things, now we are counting down the days until we can get back in our own garden once the snow melts. Thanks for being a continued source of inspiration to us both.

 


Here are beds I’ve planted this year… very weed free (have pulled out literally a total of 7 since the start of the year) and not a slug In sight. Slugs and weeds were very few and far between all year last year yet my neighbours had awful issues. Water WAY less frequently as soil structure is improved. Don’t take my word for it learn from the master Charles Dowding – I took a course with him and never looked back, but his books and/website are fantastic resources and the methods very simple. I’d used his methods for 2 years first by reading his site and forums. It means I can handle a 250m2 plot with just a few hours work every week once set up.


A huge thank you to you for yesterday’s wonderful course. I learned so much and have come home inspired. Your explanations were so measured and informative and all our questions answered in a positive and patient way


No dig in different climates

I am 67 and tried the No-Dig approach, using my own compost made last summer. Using row cover (fleece) here in zone 5b, (New Brunswick, Canada) we were eating salad in mid to late May, well before our normal planting time


Last August I was staying with a friend who lives in the Malvern hills, UK. While there, she introduced me to an organic grocer in the town. The abundant fruit and veg they were selling were the most beautiful I’ve ever seen and grown locally by the staff there. I asked them about their methods – Charles Dowding No-dig and a little seaweed fertiliser I was told.


Our climates couldn’t be more different–I’m in south Louisiana, USA, about 30 miles inland from the gulf of Mexico. Yet I find your gardening methods work well for the vegetables and herbs that will tolerate our heat and wildly inconsistent rain patterns here in Acadiana.

+ a reply from Charla Signal Emery

I’m in Texas, just northwest of Shreveport- and I find his techniques perfect for my large plot


I use a lot of the information you provide and I live in the Deep South of the US, so we have a completely different gardening calendar, but the no dig method works wherever you are. I’ve been using it for a couple years now and having great results


I’m really happy with this no dig method, we are getting a huge amount of produce from a small plot right in the city of Ottawa. I really didn’t know I would be able to grow this much when I started. Now I’m trying to learn how to can the produce!


I wholeheartedly agree with the no-dig method of growing ….even through the most challenging lack of rain and disturbed weather patterns here in South East Queensland, my gardens have continued to produce whereas most other gardeners in the area have given up on their production.


Your educational resources are invaluable because they are efficient methods on a small enough scale to really be able to grow all of ones food. That is something I have not found with other gardening advice.

I have been gardening in a no till way for five years, but struggled withering wood chip or hay as a mulch, since it causes all sorts of pest problems. Then in 2017 I started using compost instead, and I have not looked back.


Even though we are in Zone 3a with one planting a year, I am having success with intensive no dig beds. I use less garden space and did less weeding, wonderful!  Switching to this method has made great soil and saved me time and energy, thank you from northern B.C. Canada.


I’m now promoting your no dig method here in our country. Philippines. It really works. We can see amazing results. Finally we found the best farming method that can be easily done by anyone.


Even though the Brisbane weather is very harsh and growing is difficult at times, we only use the No Dig technique, and take all our tips from Charles


No dig soil quality

Our allotment in Axminster is going great this year. We are no dig devotees and I have converted at least 6 fellow allotmenteers (and my sister) to operate in the same way. We are all now avid Charles Dowding followers.
Keep up the good work. We hope to visit you should an open day in the late summer be possible.
Karin, Axminster, May 2020

The 150 square metre allotment that I have has been transformed in the last couple of years since following your advice.

The first years were spent chasing my tail and getting nowhere fast.

I now have over eighty different plants growing plus a meadow and veg beds and compost heaps and birdsong.


My new no dig flower garden is doing great in comparison to my neighbour’s gardens.

We have had a very hot June this year here again but there was no such thing as a drought in my new garden at all. Everybody around’s been complaining about drought but me!


During the stormy weather last week and a day after the torrential rain and high winds on 14th January, I went to my allotment to pick winter salads from under fleece. Despite the central access track holding surface water my no-dig plot was drained and easy to walk on. A neighbouring plot holder was squelching around in wellies working on his raspberry canes and looked incredulous as I walked around my plot in a pair of trainers. Our plots are on moderate clay with stones. It’s noticeable how many stones have risen to the surface on other plots this wet winter. My stones are buried under four or five inches of beautiful organic matter and there they stay.


Online course

Thank you so much for your fantastic course, I really enjoyed it. I was attracted to “no dig” gardening because of the no digging – of course! Who wants to break their back gardening? Also the fact that it mimics nature was appealing, I’d always wondered why we had to faff around with all the digging and adding chemicals when nature gets on perfectly well without us interfering. But the biggest bonus that I wasn’t aware of till I did your course was the lack of weeding – that is just the most fantastic thing.  Trish, May 2020

It’s been really useful to work through the course. I wish I had done it months ago!
I already started no dig in January after seeing your YouTube channel but the course content is so much more in depth and the course structure provides a greater understanding. I expect to forget things so I’m grateful I can easily refer back to the lessons.
Onward and upwards with the second course now!  Stewart, May 2020

Despite having grown vegetables (to some degree) for 20 years, I have gained so much new knowledge by studying your Course 1. I am applying this new knowledge to my garden this Spring, gaining new experience and modifying old habits. This has involved improved propagation practices as well as beginning structural changes to my garden, mainly to the paths thus far since I had already prepared the planting beds prior to starting the coursework. But I am also drastically modifying and expanding my composting, expecting to treat the planting beds as you suggest this Fall and Winter. All this has become a primary focus area for me, and I cannot thank you enough for the way you teach and share your knowledge with others. I greatly look forward to learning from Course 2, which I will be beginning very soon.   Jerry, May 2020

After completing Online course 1 I am growing veg on an exposed site in Orkney I have gale force winds to keep me plenty sharp! I’d be lost without my max-strength Keder greenhouse. But thanks to your technique of putting very small plants out under fleece and nestling them down into the mulch a bit, I’m already cropping spinach, pea shoots and lettuce OUTSIDE! In April, at 59 degrees North!
Sam, Orkney, April 2020

After completing the Online Course, I feel the value of the information that I have received is worth much more than the actual cost.  Nobody does a better job than Charles of collecting information from experiences and then summarizing and providing this information to the benefit of others.  For me, the cost of the Online Course was a very small price to pay in order to gain 36 years of experience!
Michael, Germany, April 2020

Having recently discovered your YouTube videos, I have become captivated with both your presentation style and with the ideas you express in the videos. This convinced me to purchase your 2 courses, which I began yesterday. I very much appreciate the organization and teaching methodology incorporated into the lessons as well as the reference material you provide. So, I am very excited to proceed on the lessons at a steady rate through the courses then to use them in the future for further review and study.
     I am a home vegetable gardener and very serious about converting my garden to the no-till system that you teach. I live in the southern part of the US, Zone 8. I am recently retired, age 73, and now able to more fully pursue my garden passion.
     Thank you for your devotion to gardening and for your willingness and ability to share your knowledge.
Jerry, Southern USA, April 2020

My partner and I, are very much enjoying your courses. Being as we are under lockdown – or at least asked not to move about – we have put our energies into studying from your wealth of knowledge, and putting what we are learning into practice. We have already converted our front yard into a bed and have started our sowing. We are a little late but, so it is… it’s a learning process and by next year we will have that much more experience, and be right on time. There was definitely cool weather a few weeks ago and last week was toasty…1C to 20.5C in a matter of 5 days (night and day temps)
I must say – I’ve been involved in boats my whole life and have always had an eye to the land and a vegetable garden. I feel so fortunate to have come upon your methods and instruction. How lucky we are to glide right into playing with the compost and plants under your guidance missing the myths and dubious efforts.
Frank, April 2020

Thankyou. I really enjoyed the course. I’m in my second year of Nodig now and have read many of your books but there was still lots to learn from the first course. The mix of clips, photos and text is a great format. I thought the weeding lesson was particularly interesting- great to finally know the names! Look forward to course 2.  Ben, April 2020

I am simply mesmerized by your teaching and your believing in Nature. I am now loaded with many books of yours, calendar and courses. I am very very much enjoying it and today i’ll pick the first lettuce leaves for lunch (:   Melita, April 2020


I’ve taken so much from the course and can’t wait to get into part two!
It has been an unusual summer here, really hot early on but then cool and pretty damp in fact – slow ripening but no major bush fires 🙂 thanks for sharing all your awesome content.
I’ll be getting to work on lots of compost making, mulching and no dig bed forming over winter 🙂 Jimmy, Tasmania, April 2020

Thank you for such an incredible weekend, you gave every second of each day!

The methods and reasons for the no dig approach have turned my world upside down, and yet a small voice inside is rejoicing at the message of working so deeply with nature this way.

Shifting to no dig already feels like a ‘coming home’, because of its gentle, respectful and protective ways, not to mention the time saving efficiency!!!


A huge thank you to you for yesterday’s wonderful course. I learned so much and have come home inspired. Your explanations were so measured and informative and all our questions answered in a positive and patient way


Very enjoyable course and very informative, we have been following you on YouTube for about 18 months and been practicing your methods but this course was a great help going more in depth into it. Have already started to re do our pathways since completing that lesson!


I thoroughly enjoyed your course and have learnt so much. I am just starting out on an allotment plot and using lots of your no dig principles. I’m already noticing how much fewer weeds I have compared to my plot-holder neighbours. And I’m loving weed-free paths! Many thanks again, Sue


I thought that I would get little from Charle’s online course because I have done a day course with him, seen him talk, and bought (and read) all of his books. Boy was I wrong – every day brings a ‘lightbulb’ moment!! I can’t recommend it highly enough.


I am enjoying the course immensely and am starting to put the principles into practice on our place in Victoria, Australia. Your advice and practical approach is invaluable.


After studying the online course, this was my first year following your methods. I can’t get over the amount of vegetables I have harvested and how healthy and vibrant everything is! Took me 50 years of gardening, but I finally got it right!


I completed your both courses, really a great experience to gain valuable and practical knowledge from your years of conscious gardening. In all areas of life I see that so called “experts” have reduced common people to almost nothing and build mambo-jumbo around their trade to make it sound mysterious. Your no-dig approach plus compost for vegetables is such a basic simple method that we are hardly conscious of it, while mother nature raises marvelous and beautiful landscapes with this approach.


Thank you, Sir.  I greatly appreciate you sharing your observations and knowledge, and the time and effort it took you to put these courses together.  They have helped me tremendously in many ways… one of which is giving me the courage to tackle gardening again… this time with hope. These courses have simple and practical knowledge that will stay with me for the rest of my life.


Talks on no dig

Two years ago I wrote to the council telling them I wanted to hand my plot in because when I went there I would cry from being overwhelmed by digging and weeds, then I saw your talk and said I wanted ‘one last try’. Two years on I am ahead of the game and my allotment is a genuine place of joy and freedom. My three year old knows the difference between a courgette and cucumber, and my plot is healthier and more joyful than ever. Thank you.

At the moment I watch your videos nightly, and I’m not sure if you appreciate just how much freeing and fascinating information you are sharing. Multi-sowing has been an absolute revolution to me (I grow up with the 4” between singular plants rule) and I have ordered a load of seeds I might not have tried before because I have the space and enjoyment.

I tell everyone who’ll listen about no dig and I now get friends with children to come and join in planting and harvesting. I tell them about No Dig so that they can also escape the old ‘backbreaker methods’ as I now call them.

As you say, I struggle now to understand why people do it the old way. I saw an 85 year old man grappling with a rotavator yesterday, being helped by a younger neighbour. Nothing about that looked enjoyable or good for the soul. Meanwhile I was uncovering a spotless perfect piece of ground for broad beans and planning where everything would live this year, and not a weed or fork was to be seen.

Thank you again. If I hadn’t stumbled across a Gardener’s World piece on you, and then seen that you were speaking nearby a week later, my allotment would be a thing of the past and I would be telling people that it wasn’t possible to grow anything more than tomatoes in bags with a young family.

Thank you so much. Truly.  Anna, February 2019

 

 


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 lengthy talk with lovely photos.  Suella, March 2019


Weed free

Bindweed has been completely manageable with cardboard and No Dig – we just keep pulling up the shoots and it’s giving up.


After 1.5 years not digging, what was once grass, oxalis, deadnettle, wild onion and the dreaded couch grass is now mostly weed free! Occasional weeds from compost or ones that blow in, but otherwise the recurring culprits have died!


Shock horror I actually found 3 weed seedings in my no dig onion bed today the first of the year. Wind blown from the adjoining overgrown plot.

Plot neighbours are asking if I am coming down very early in the morning as this year they never see me weeding, truth is I haven’t had any.

This system is far easier to maintain, and I find water retention is far better as well. With my old soil as soon as I watered it disappeared, now the water is held in the compost.


YouTube video

Having recently discovered your YouTube videos, I have become captivated with both your presentation style and with the ideas you express in the videos. This convinced me to purchase your 2 courses, which I began yesterday. I very much appreciate the organization and teaching methodology incorporated into the lessons as well as the reference material you provide. So, I am very excited to proceed on the lessons at a steady rate through the courses then to use them in the future for further review and study.
     I am a home vegetable gardener and very serious about converting my garden to the no-till system that you teach. I live in the southern part of the US, Zone 8. I am recently retired, age 73, and now able to more fully pursue my garden passion.
     Thank you for your devotion to gardening and for your willingness and ability to share your knowledge.
Jerry, Southern USA, April 2020

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your inspirational videos on Youtube. Through the dark winter months I watched them and it gave me the confidence to build 4 x raised beds (1.2m x 1.2m) I have planted many of crops following your instructions in late February. This last two weeks I’ve harvested plenty of mixed salad leaves from the putter leaves, pak choi, spinach, and multi sewn radishes to feed a small family. The pea shoots are looking and tasting great and many of the other crops are thriving! Carrots, onions, leeks, beetroot and chard are all planted. I’m planning my summer veg now and planting in modules ready for the next round of sewing. I’ve also found your diary very useful when planting reminding me to hold on a little with the summer crops. The kids aged 3 and 5 helped pull the radishes today and were loving it, great memories being made! I never would have believed this would be possible in Rochdale Lancashire. Keep up the good work and I look forward to your upcoming videos on Homeacres.

William, April 2020


Jessica received the calendar and diary that I had ordered for her complete with the lovely dedications, thank you so much.
She is so enthused after watching a lot of your videos and has got busy sowing in modules and building a compost heap etc.
The diary is an Ideal aid for her to get the timings right and help keep her on track.
She was very late sending me her regular morning text the other day, the reason she gave was that she had got lost down a Charles Dowding wormhole on youtube! I knew exactly what she meant, your videos are such good viewing and you can soon lose an hour with them. Ben, April 2020

Charles – I wanted to thank you for all the great information you provide.  Your videos are so thorough and informative. Some of the best content I have found on line!
During covid-19 I have binge watched your videos over and over and have been using your techniques this spring in my garden.  I will be significantly increasing my garden this year. Watching your videos and working on getting the garden going this spring have kept me sane.

Jon, New York City, Hudson River Valley, April 2020


Please call my educational institution! Unlike my professors, Charles has experience! I bet they are still teaching about ‘scorch’?? Thank you for teaching the next generation of gardeners real knowledge and practical experience! Michael-Ann, April 2020


You inspired me, I been many rough patches and didn’t know what to do with myself. Then watching your video’s inspired me to get out and garden. Now i am opening up my own Hobbie Farm with my own no dig market garden.  Kyle, YouTube, April 2020


Just wanted to say that I discovered your professionally made videos on line in December 2019. I have watched most and some many many times over.

I have learnt so much that I now hopefully have a productive garden and just finishing my second raised bed. I am a dog behaviourist so cant really have my dogs peeing over veg so raised is best for me. I am a Chilli, spring onion and leek person though still learning.

Your weeding philosophy is outstanding and suits my levels of boredom if weeding is required.

As a film maker myself I noticed how well produced your videos were and the sound (not easy) was well captured and notwithstanding your excellent delivery to camera.

Best wishes and thank you so much for being the best garden educator on the internet and full of common sense which is not always so common.  Colin, March 2020


Wow! I like the fact you do your own trials, testing different ways of prepping the soil. You’re very thorough in explaining your motives for doing things and I absorb so much from your videos! Thank you Charles!


Greetings from Vancouver, Canada. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your webpage and videos. Your advice is consistently excellent and clearly presented.

I volunteer on a farm in a Buddhist monastery near Vancouver and have introduced your work to several of the nuns, who have also become ardent fans of no dig gardening! Please keep up the good work and for all our sake, never retire!


Please, never stop making videos! I have learnt so much from you over the past few days while I was binge-watching all your stuff, so thanks from the bottom of my heart! Apart from the obviously excellent content, I have to say that I’m really impressed with the production value of your videos. Even though it’s close to a storm in the back, the sound is clear and crisp. Whenever I think to myself “I wonder how these plants look in two months” – BAM – “it is now 10 weeks later…”. Whenever I wonder how something looks close up – BAM – the camera zooms in or there’s a cut to a different perspective. It adds so much when you don’t have to look for another video in order to follow along with one specific vegetable, but it’s all right there edited into one video.


I’m a total convert to no dig. I have a field which has always been weed and stone infested problem. With no dig and composting it’s turned into a small vegetable garden which is fantastic. I have a small polytunnel and following Charles videos, the results are amazing. Charles has got me interested in gardening again, as the back breaking toil has gone.


I have been No dig since watching your You Tube videos last year having dug previously. I can’t quite believe how much more my wife & I enjoy the allotment since changing to this method so thank you again.

 


Since I’ve been following Charles as a late comer to serious gardening (I’m 66) I’ve been delighted! He demystifies everything. I’ve watched gardeners world for decades, I’ve even listened to gardeners question time stunned by peoples’ extraordinary horticultural knowledge. But following Charles’ I’m growing lots of vegetables! Brilliant absolutely brilliant. Why Mr Dowling doesn’t have his own show on the BBC is beyond me.


Hello Mr. Dowding, I am in Northern California, a mile east of the ocean.  From your videos I attempted my first No Dig garden at the end of 2018.   Even through Winter storms it started producing, and by the time Spring arrived, I had an abundant, healthy, thriving garden, with my nearest neighbors taking notice, and swearing they must take up the method themselves.  Thank you so much. Linda Schneider, Age 62