Author Topic: Dig or no dig  (Read 1759 times)

Offline lottieguy

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Dig or no dig
« on: January 16, 2017, 01:00:53 PM »
Hi Ya, I tried searching for this subject but the search answers were huge. Having had a lot of time to ponder and read it made me wonder who on here digs and who thinks no dig is best. I have read so that are for no dig and it certainly appeals to me. We have one fellow on site who does nop dig but his plot always looks a mess with weeds etc. Happy Gardening what ever you choose

Offline Big Gee

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Re: Dig or no dig
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 05:41:29 PM »
There's a lot of very convincing and plausible stuff written about the 'no-dig' methods of cultivation. The logic and principle is very sound, you don't erode or break up the soil, you don't leach so many minerals and the mulch serves as a reservoir of goodness for the crops, and (rather less credibly) you do away with your weed problem.

<iframe width="640" height="385" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/A9Wq32IRrPQ?fs=1&start=" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Personally I'm not that big a fan (I also wear boots in my garden!). IF you can completely clear your ground of ALL weeds to start with, and begin the 'no-dig' method from that starting point then you have a chance. Usually people don't do that, and in a short time the area they've dedicated to the task turns into an unkept mess that's strewn with weeds - as you accurately report from your experience of someone who has adopted this method on your site.

The 'no-dig' method appeals GREATLY to those who have a bit of an aversion to hard work, believing they can cut corners and in the process cut out the backache. It isn't quite that simple. To properly take up the 'no-dig' method actually takes a lot of work too (there's no dodging), it's not easy work to hump loads of mulch, manure and compost to your 'no-dig' beds. It has to be done properly to be efficient. It doesn't work quickly either. You have to build up your 'no-dig' area. After a few seasons of painstaking and meticulous work (messy gardeners will never find success using this method) no doubt you will get it into shape.

I'm a bit more old fashioned in my approach. I rotavate my soil, rake it up into beds about 6" high by 4' x 16' long. After the seeds have sprouted and the plants are growing well I then mulch regularly with grass clippings throughout the growing season. So I suppose I get the best of both worlds. I have a strict rotation system so every inch of the plot is treated to a very heavy application of farm yard manure every 4 years. That helps replace the worms my rotavator kills, and of course returns humus and nutrients to the soil. I also hate the sight of a messy plot that grows weeds in the same quantity as crops! But each one to his own . . . whatever works for you and you're happy with.
 
Grin2:-)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 05:43:51 PM by Big Gee »
 

Offline Westheathdave

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Re: Dig or no dig
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 08:03:19 PM »
 RedFaced:-( Blimy she has got strong feet BARE FOOT GARDENING WOW do not think I could push a fork in the ground like that with my bare feet.
Have seen similar ones to this before I keep meaning to try it but never quite get around to doing it.  CW ;-)

Offline lottieguy

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Re: Dig or no dig
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2017, 10:54:10 AM »
Hi Ya, just had a chance to watch the video BG, I see what you  mean westheath she must have plates like leather and soles of a rubber boot. I use newspaper on my brassy bed and mulch with mushroom compost. So I suppose I am part way there. Useful tip on wetting the paper first as I had problems with it blowing away when I laid so perhaps wet it will stay. Her hands must be hard as well the way she ripped that comfrey as I find the stems irritate or I am just a wimp. Good though gave me a few ideas. I will still rotavate areas for spuds etc, and dig a bean trench for runners especially they lovely purple ones. I will watch a few more of those I think it's all interesting and I guess they are of utube. Happy days

Offline Poppa Tommo

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Re: Dig or no dig
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2017, 08:02:12 AM »
Bit of both for me. Weed suppressant and raised beds. Raised beds require very little digging. Just a tickle over and layers of muck in the winter seems to work. Raised high enough means you don't walk all over it and weeding is less back breaking.


It's also ok on an allotment scale but imagine the millions of square miles of weed suppressants needed for farming to feed the ever growing world population.


Are we too far gone down the road of food for profits instead of food for communiities?
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Offline Big Gee

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Re: Dig or no dig
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2017, 07:01:33 PM »
Yep, I'm a 'halfway house' guy myself. Make use of the best of both worlds is the secret.

A very valid point you make in your last paragraph Tommo. The sooner we shrink back down production to personal/ community level the better. The huge problem that we've created in this mad world is that we've adopted the same technique to food production as we have for industry. We use the factory concept, where we produce it all in one place and then try to spread it out over impractical distances, using non renewable energy like diesel. It doesn't really work, and has eventual limitations. In the process we put all sorts of shit in our soil, food and precessing techniques that we land up making everyone ill by poisoning them or causing malnutrition - just to extend the shelf life of food for women to buy in supermarkets. Madness!  mad:-|
 

Offline Poppa Tommo

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Re: Dig or no dig
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2017, 10:15:59 PM »
Aye to all that, Gee.


Not just to extend shelf life though, but also to make the rich richer. The multinationals own vast tracts of land that they farm with chemicals, squeezing out the more traditional agriculturists by producing food empty of goodness to dupe the unwitting, uneducated amongst us that it's a real bargain. So much so that over time the general population have accepted it all as the 'norm' so when they are confronted with a grubby, forked carrot or some odd shaped spuds they think that there is something wrong with them. If only they could do a blindfold taste test to see what real veg' with real flavour tastes like.
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Offline Big Gee

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Re: Dig or no dig
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2017, 11:37:00 PM »
Sure thing Tommo - you just added the cherry to my cake!  clap:-)

ABSOLUTELY right & the 'general public' are walking around like zombies, in the perception deception world created for them by the unscrupulous rich.
 

Offline Westheathdave

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Re: Dig or no dig
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2017, 03:07:49 PM »
The supermarket food definitely lacks taste I bought some frozen blueberries as mine were running low mine tasted far superior to the supermarket ones which had no taste at all. Same with my raspberries lovely taste compared to the supermarket ones which had poor taste.  usf:-(