|Everyone loves a no-dig bed!|
I have a few unsung heroes – Esther Deane is one of them. In the 1970’s, in Sydney, she developed a means of building garden beds above ground without the use of heavy machinery and back-breaking work.
They really use the theory of successful composting – that is having carbon (brown stuff- leaves/ straw etc.) and nitrogen (green stuff – grass clippings/manure etc.) rich layers built up on top of each other – like making a lasagne. Then the worms, and other soil organisms, do the work for you. You keep repeating the layers to whatever height required.
The beauty of this system is that you can turn a patch of weeds or lawn into a productive garden-instantly! You can even build one, where space is tight, on concrete paving – you just need to make more layers and build a framework to contain it.
This is the only way I make a new garden bed – it’s so easy and works so well. It’s also very versatile. As a landscaper I used this method to make raised garden beds in hospitals for easy wheelchair access, for children in school gardens and for older, more frail, gardeners.
NO-DIG GARDEN-How to make and instant garden bed in 5 easy steps. (Think lasagne and you’ll get it!)
4. Complete with thick layer of STRAW/DRY GRASS or LEAVES/LUCERNE/CANE MULCH etc. You can make the bed any height you want by repeating step 3 + 4. Water well. As the layers decompose they will shrink – so you will need to top it up.
“Don’t break your back – let the worms do the work for you”
One year later – this bed has never had had a spade near it, just loads of compost!
MAINTENANCE The layered mix of organic materials will quickly break down and you will need to keep topping it up because it will shrink. This is where compost, compost, compost and mulch, mulch, mulch comes in – the organic gardener can never have enough! You will be astonished at how rich the soil in a bed likes this becomes producing wonderful healthy food.
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