No Dig: feed the soil not the plants for many, easier harvests and few weeds

100 thoughts on “No Dig: feed the soil not the plants for many, easier harvests and few weeds

  1. Can No Dig be used in all climates? You are in Zone 8B, whereas I am in Zone 5B. Would the no dig method work everywhere?

  2. I absolutely love your videos, you have become my guru! I am in Derbyshire where I believe the zone is the same as yours 8b so an added bonus for me. Thank you so much

  3. I have never done a "no dig" but I love your explanations seems to make perfect sense, Im going to try it. My question is, I have an area that currently has grass, after pulling up grass do I just dig where I want to plant the seed and not disturb the surrounding area? Your gardens are beautiful btw.

  4. Very encouraging! I'm a new southern gardener here in Georgia and your tips are helpful. I'm from California and gardening is a bit different there.

  5. Have you experimented with worms casting? They degrade organic matter much faster than bacteria from compost and they provide a very different biome. Compost produce thermophilic organism while worms and the microorganisms with them are more temperate. Worms casting also contains natural growth hormones for plants.

  6. We are hopefully getting our first allotment soon and as it has been vacant tor almost 3 years we are going to use your No Dig method on it as to us it makes sense.

  7. Like it Charles, 👍 this year is my first No Dig! Last winter I followed your advice of a couple of inches well rotted farmyard manure! Spread over,
    And so far in my small raised beds there are no weeds 👍and I don’t intend to use any other fertilisers !
    I just hope I can grow veggies half as good as you do and I’ll be a very happy gardener! 🤞keep up the good that you do Charles.
    Love your videos!

  8. Mycorrhizal fungi do not form symbiotic relationships with brassicas. More likely to be trichoderma if beneficial fungi are helping your brassicas..

  9. I can't wait to try your methods! I have raised a vegetable garden in WA state, USA on the Idaho border and have had good and bad experiences. This year we have had snow, which is not usual for this area, so I am starting a bit late, but am very optomistic about the outcome this year. Thank you for making these videos public so that anyone can learn from you!
    Much Appreciated. Deb 🙂

  10. sounds too good. I know that if you just put compost on top of an area there are powerful weeds and plants that will motor their way through to the surface and beyond. You don't say it but there simply must be a certain amount of weeding….

  11. @charles When starting a no dig garden on top of grass does it matter which to add first soil or manure or can I mix them both in together? Or is it better to only use one of the two?

  12. Does adding compost on your soil in the long run lead to higher beds after a couple of years? Thank you so much for this informative content.

  13. you re such a great legend man not only a great grower! an insiration for me! i wish i could shake your hand one day! all my respect❤🌍🙏🌱

  14. Would parsnips come out more easily if you sort of "unscrewed" them ie in circular motion? 🙂 Might that disturb the soil less? There seem to be a lot of spirals in nature 😀

  15. Im handicapped so I can get down to the ground level. I add mycorrhizal fungi to my raised beds in Arizona. In zone 11 with intense heat I grow everything and my gardens perform wonderful. I only wish I knew about this 20 years ago. A lot of backbreaking digging and unnecessary weed picking time could of been saved. Thanks for sharing.

  16. Bit late to the party, but is this possible in containers, for example, the xxl elho table? I assume it will, to some extent, provided some depth is left for mulching, and care is given as to what crops follow which. I will be on a first floor balcony so less time lugging spent soil to the bin, the better!

  17. Thank you for excellent video support Inspiration and confirmation of no dig principle. Better than anything the bbc can offer

  18. Just subscribed too your chanel, Charles, thankyou for your no digging tips, nearly winter here in Australia,so lm trying to work out what veggies will go in a cold climate doing the no dig garden.

  19. Stupid question: if you're just putting compost on top every year, how are you not getting a buildup of earth-mounds in your garden?

  20. Talking of slugs! I've not seen any for years.Just started growing this year.What I have got is a small army of slow worms.10 or more."Neither slow or worms by the way"Happy days! I've been keeping an eye on them for years,now's their chance to help me,they been living in an old compost bin for maybe 10 yrs i've had to empty and move.Hope they like their new home. 🙂

  21. Hi Charles, I used your method on growing Multi sown radishes, I sowed Scarlet globe and Polenza in modules in mid February and mid April I’ve started eating them as and when, all with the No dig method! And still no weeds! 👍thanks

  22. I cannot tell you how much I value these videos and admire the love you have of watching the cycle of life grow before your eyes. Thank you. I do have a question if I may: I am an urban gardener and thus my composting is a tad limited. If I am starting a new bed this year with fresh no-entirely-decomposed compost, must I dig up the old soil and place a layer underneath or should I simply layer it ontop of last year's soil and sow my seedlings directly in that?

  23. Thank you so much, Charles! I've been trying to convince my son to stop tilling up his garden every year, so hopefully if I share this with him the message will get through!

  24. 60 years of topsoil left. The thin layer that the vast majority of terrestrial species depend upon. It's a disaster of epic proportions in the making, on the scale of global warming. Your video should be compulsory viewing for farmers and agricultural tutors.

    National Geographic had an article about mycorrhizal networks and how trees communicate and share resources. Love it! I tend to leave weeds alone, unless they are invasive. I think any roots are good roots. Roots bind and open up the soil, as well as entering into symbiotic relationships with microorganisms, animals and fungi.

    Let's all love our topsoil. It's more valuable than gold.

  25. Yep all about the soil and its complex relationship with plants.🎶🎶 No no you can’t take that away from them 🎶🎶

  26. Fantastic video, just came across it. No dig is a great way forward in a great adventure in life called gardening. Thankyou Charles.

  27. Great video Charles I come across your video and found it very interesting. Very interested in making a no dig veg bed. My lawned area is new top soil 6 inches deep then rubble our house is a new build. Can I use nettle tea? I have no home made compost so will the bought bagged compost be sufficient ?. Will brown cardboard ok instead of news paper? The list is endless. Would be very grateful for your assistance I live in Luxembourg 🇱🇺

  28. Thank-you for this video, it answered most of my questions about the no dig garden! It's still amazing to me that carrots will grow in soil that hasn't been loosened before planting, and those parsnips!! I'm wondering if this method is as successful in a cold Canadian climate (zone 3)? Do we have similar microorganisms in the soil and do they survive our cold winters? Thanks for the amazing content, Charles. Happy gardening!!

  29. What a gem of a video! I was enthralled a few minutes into it. It makes such sense on many levels. Thank you for your clear explanations on soil & compost making.

  30. hi i do enjoy your videos very much thank you I've have just started the back to eden method also no dig method do you have any views on it or is it all the same and to you and this method is just your personal preference?

  31. Very interesting video. It challenges our gardening preconceptions and gives food for thought. Thank you.

  32. Love your side by side demos and explanation of how the no dig method supports the garden and is easier on the gardener. Thank you

  33. what if your soil isnt really very good to start with. My soil is very sandy so I have been trying to build the soil up by adding top soil, and peat moss to hold the moisture. I am sold on the no dig, but how can I feed my soil quickly until my compost pile is ready.

  34. Amazing video as usual! I subscribed to your channel a few weeks ago and am learning so much. I live in Eastern Canada where the growing season is very short so we need all the help we can get in producing healthy vegetables. Thanks so much!

  35. Hello Charles, from the Czech Republic. Thanks so much for all your videos, they are great!! This very different concept from what we are used to here. This is dig, dig country:-) No dig sure works though, I can see. I have a question: How do you deal with rodents? Do you have moles on your property at all, and mice? If you dont dig/do not disturb their nests and tunels, dont you have a problem with that? Thanks for answer, Hana

  36. I grow papaver somniiferum for medicinal reasons & I've been told that they like very loose soil, so every year I double dig my soil & I get massive growth. Do u think its possible to grow them without digging?

  37. I'm new to the no dig idea so might seem like a dumb question, I take it you only ever add compost and manure to the top and never remove anything from the beds?

  38. Love you and your Garden more and more with every Video! THIS ARE CARROTS! Great work Charles! Liebe Grüße

  39. I am going to be trying the no dig and I have 3 new compost bins going now, but my soil is very sandy, and I am using your cardboard method and have to use wood chips until I get some compost, mainly to try to eradicate bind weed that has appeared this year .So what can I do right now to feed my soil as it is like plain dirt and not like soil at all.

  40. During the summer time, the open fields in my country are dug up with heavy machinery. This is done annually. This type of digging is considered necessary in my country and has been going on since Roman times. The reason is that when the rain comes, the soil will be in an advantageous position to absorb it. Furthermore the extremely dry large chunks of soil will shatter naturally with the first rain, just like limestone in a lime making furnace. My country receives no rain from May to September. I suspect that no-dig gardening works well where the soil receives shower rain more often, and thus requires less irrigation. In areas where the rain is of a thunderstorm type of rain, where the rain is for a few hours but plenty, the soil requires digging at least once a year. In fact the first rains in September can cause street flooding. Very few microorganisms, if any, are active on rock hard soil. Have you ever seen this type of soil condition? On the other hand, microorganisms are more active on moist soil in warm countries. Decomposition is faster in both seawater as well as on land. Can you offer some knowledge about this situation? Thank you.

  41. This is awesome! I never want to dig because I absolutely hate killing earthworms. I have to dig some here because I have so much rocks in the soil, but once the rocks are up I'll never dig again!


  43. On the topic of legume nodulation: most legumes won't leave a significant amount of Nitrogen in the soil, but with an established 'common mycorrhizal network', nitrogen will be passed to other living plants. This is a good reason for a polyculture which includes perennials (which will feed microbes during winter etc).

  44. When you do a second planting, or when preparing for winter, do you pull the previous plants or just cut them off at soil surface.

  45. Love this! I just don't understand how you can grow all that in zone 8b in the summer! We are in 8b here in the USA and cabbage is a fall and winter crop. Maybe the UK has different zones than the USA?

  46. Charles, how does mulch application applies in tropical region? Any tips or idea of references? Thanks so much.

  47. Hi, need advise truing to get to no dig. hired a landscaper to remove some damaged trees and very over grown brambles and other invasives and garden thugs. left with a network of large roots esp. from Chinese wisteria. Hired another landscaper to pull the roots. Now I have a large clear area but it is very compact. wondering if i should dig or fork the first year to break up and ariate before I add mulch which will over winter before planting or just add the mulch on top of the compacted soil. I appreciate any advise. Thanks

  48. Sounds good in theory but, what do i do about the constant weeds that keep coming up in my garden beds? The only way to remove them well, is to dig them out. This is an ongoing thing for me every season

  49. Hello Charles, I am really inspired by your gardening. Thank you for sharing. One question: Do you remove the roots of cabbages or do you leave them in the ground?

  50. dovrebbe esserci anche una versione in italiano per non perderci nulla di quanto dice, io sto iniziando a seguire i suoi consigli ma non posso migliorare e continuare a capire perchè seguire il tutto in inglese è troppo difficile per me…comunque complimenti!

  51. Not to go all whew whew or anything. But I wonder if plants and trees can pick up on our vibe, positive or negative. Have you ever wondered when you plant your dig or no dig beds. Maybe the bed that was Tilled.The plant pick up on your (thought)hope they don’t grow and do better vibe, just food for thought, maybe a small piece of the pie. Thank you for all that you share and pass along.

  52. I dug my garden once as it was really just a pile of rubble and I had to get rid of all the rocks and plaster in it. That was 5 years ago. I put compost on it in Autumn, grow mustard as a cover crop, chop and drop it and then cover the lot with a thick mulch of leaves. This builds up the soil really nicely. No fertiliser, no pesticides. I add a little compost when I sow and grow another cover crop in summer. The result? A thriving vegetable garden in Andalusia…

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