Blog Post

No-dig gardening raised garden bed

No Dig gardens – anywhere and everywhere

Anywhere and everywhere – that’s the motto of a no-dig garden. Do you have rocky, clay or sandy soil unsuitable for a veggie garden? Build a no-dig garden on top of it and feed your family delicious home-grown veggies. Want to make a garden on your back lawn? Don’t bother with the effort of digging it up – instead, build a no-dig garden.

No-dig gardens became well-known in Australia after Esther Deans published her book Growing without Digging in 1977. No-dig gardening is simply a way of establishing a garden in any place you need it – even on top of concrete. Deans discovered it when she wanted to create a veggie garden in her backyard that was full of clay and buried building materials, making a traditional garden impossible.

The method involves alternating layers of newspaper, straw (or leaf matter) with manure and compost on top of your surface, creating a mix that will decompose down into a garden perfectly suited to planting veggies. First, build a boundary for your no-dig garden to ensure it doesn’t wash away. This could be a home-made frame, or a few sandstone blocks, or a commercially constructed garden bed.

Now, gather your materials and soak your newspaper. Spread a layer of two or three leaves of newspaper at once across your surface, making sure the edges overlap generously so as to stop weeds getting through (if you’re building on concrete, put a 10cm layer of dry sticks down first). Next, soak your straw or dried leaf matter and add a layer of it to the newspaper. Make it about 10cm thick. Sprinkle some manure and compost evenly across the area, about 5cm thick. Alternate these two layers to double the desired eventual height as your no-dig garden will compact down to half of its size. The last layer should be the soaked straw or leaf matter.

It’s hard not to want to plant veggies in your garden straight away, and you can – pop a bit of well-decomposed compost into pockets made in your last layer. Plant your seedlings (leave straight seed-sowing until later), and then sit back and watch your veggies thrive while your garden gradually settles into place.

Soon your no-dig garden will shrink down to the intended height and your veggies will be heading towards harvest. We won’t blame you if you start to search for other ‘impossible’ areas to create gardens – no-dig gardens help you create life out of the barest of plots – and it’s totally addictive!

Related Posts

veggie garden
Perks of a veggie patch

Perks of veggie patch Imagine a bright sunny day & you are relaxing on hammock,

Raised garden beds
How to plant a veggie garden

How to plant Veggie gardens How soulful it feels when you eat a homegrown tomato?

6in1 modular raised garden bed - veggie garden
Benefits of a Raised Garden Bed

Benefits of raised garden beds If you are a gardening fan, who wants to grow

Sweeten up your veggies with seaweed

If you’re looking for a great fertiliser and soil conditioner, turn your gaze towards

Green manure – the magician of the garden

Green manure – the magician of the garden Green manure puts on a magic show

Vertical gardens
Vertical gardens – think laterally to garden vertically

It might take a stretch of the mind to imagine a vertical garden –

Warm up to Spring

Preparation and planting It’s time to think about what to plant for Spring – throw

abc-gardening
Birdies Garden Beds feature on ABC gardening Australia.

Our beds recently took centre stage in an report on community veggie gardening in

garden-guru
Birdies New Heritage Range of Garden Beds feature on ‘The Garden Gurus”

Birdies new range of heritage garden beds recently featured in the popular Channel Nine

planting guide
Plant in Autumn and enjoy year-round goodness

Wondering if you can plant in Autumn? It’s the time of year when the

Raised garden beds
Grow your own veggies!

Grow your own vegetables & make a difference…. Australia is the worst CO2 emitters per

Worm-header
Worms, worms and more worms – the organic gardener’s best friend

Have you ever considered keeping a worm farm? These amazing creatures can help you

good bugs vs bad bugs
Beneficial insects and how to attract them to your garden.

We all know how important bees are to our gardens, but are there other