If You Find No Dig Difficult Try The Modified No Dig Gardening Method. It Overcomes Compost & Weed Problems When There Isn’t Enough Compost/Cardboard.
Even the best gardening methods sometimes fail to deliver 100%. I love No Dig, but sometimes it only delivers 95% of what I want. So I then depend on my version of The Modified No Dig Gardening Method. It overcomes the compost & weed problems you get when there isn’t enough compost or cardboard.
The Modified No Dig Gardening Method takes the best of No Dig and adds a bit of common sense when we can’t follow all the no dig ideas.
Let me give you some examples of where, and how, I use it.
Running Out Of No Dig Compost
It’s the most common complaint I hear about No Dig, people don’t have enough compost.
It needn’t be a problem. This is what I do. I use grass instead.
Look at the photo of the leeks. On April 20th I looked at the remaining crop and could see a bit of weed amongst them. I know that if I’d done every right there would have been no weed, but last year I took a months holiday and in that short time had a few weeds appear and seed before I could clear them. The seed then sat there until recently when amongst a thick crop of leeks a few germinated. Most didn’t grow well as the leeks shut out a lot of light and competed for moisture and nutrients. But a very small number seeded and pose a problem in future.
In most cases this wouldn’t worry me as I’d just add a layer of compost. But I’ve used all my compost and had to find a solution. And grass is that solution.
I’ve added a few inches of grass clippings to the soil amongst the leeks. This will suppress any more weed growth until I harvest the last leeks. Plus it will feed the soil as the worms pull it down and it feeds the soil bacteria and fungi. It’s an ideal solution. A perfect example of the Modified No Dig Method that sorts out weeds and compensates for the lack of compost. the great thing with mown grass is that it goes right up to the plant and leaves no gaps through which weeds can grow.
Another use for grass mowings is to mulch around trees. For example this recently planted fruit tree is against a wall. This means it could be in a bit of a rain shadow and miss out on rain due to the sheltering effect of the wall. It’s a bit of a problem with newly planted trees in these situations. As their roots develop they’ll not suffer from the rain shadow sheltering effect of the wall, but in the early years they need help.
One solution is to mulch them with grass clippings. It shields the soil surface from the sun and wind and stops it drying out quite as quick. And as it does this it also contributes nutrients to the soil as it breaks down. Don’t worry about nitrogen being depleted. The effect is very minimal as the grass is on the surface of the soil. It only deletes soil nitrogen in the top centimetre or so.
I’ll be adding more modified no dig details in the next weeks.
Tag: Modified No Dig Gardening Method
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