Information on Garden materials; Compost, Soil and Mulch...

... Your Questions Answered

compost with twigs

This page is all about real dirty stuff.

Want to know how to produce the best conditions for your plants to thrive in?

This is where you will find your answers!

If your effort to produce good soil is harder than trying to ride a bicycle underwater, or if your compost wont compost, or your mulch is a mess... ask why here.

We'll give you the down and dirty to fix things... or at least get some dirt under our fingernails trying.

And if you're an expert on soil, mulch, compost, seaweed, manure, fertilizer, leafmold and other delightful stuff, do share your knowledge and answers.

Our motto here is: Jump on in, the soil's fine! See you below.

IMPORTANT: Please don't ask questions that have been answered here before, or if the information is found elsewhere on this website.

CHECK FIRST... type any relevant word(s) into this search box...

Ask your question about soil, compost, mulch or other garden materials below.

Including a photo(s) is important. Rarely do submissions get published without at least one photo. And also write lots of relevant details—such as descriptions, locality, weather, feeding, watering, timing, soil, nutrients; how, when, where and what, etc.

What Other Visitors Have Said

Read other "dirty" questions and answers below. Click on the links to read.

How should I fill my raised garden bed? 
Hi, I recently built a raised garden bed with bricks/mortar. The bed is 1 1/2 feet high, 2 feet wide and 12 feet long. The space is empty, and I was about …

Apple Pomace for mulch layer 
Greetings, I have been maintaining a layered "lasagna" garden for a few years. typically making a spring top layer with straw or clean hay. this has …

Conditioning Straw bales 
I am new at straw bale gardening. Are my straw bales ruined? I put 3 cups of Scotts granular fertilizer (32-0-4) on each bale (Mistake) and watered in. …

garden yearly maintenance 
I'm brand new at this and am just about to build my first garden. I'm going to do the lasagna method. Each year your vegetables will remove an amount …

Using rice straw bales 
How would rice straw bales work for straw bale gardening? Many of our local farmers burn their rice fields to get rid of the stubble because it takes …

Rockdust as a soil conditioner 
What do you think of Rockdust to condition soil? For several years now, I have been applying Rockdust to my soil, for both vegetable and ornamental …

Soil too Rich 
Can I do the layering thing and use compost every so often or is there a danger of getting my no dig garden soil too rich?

No dig garden in 3 months 
I am creating somewhat of a raised bed garden, depending how much compost I get, and I would like to kill the grass and prevent weeds. I am laying down …

growing potatoes in clay 
I have a piece of land that a builder covered in clay 2 years ago. It was ploughed last year but not suitable for growing veg. Grass now grows on it. …

gum tree leaves in no dig garden 
are gum tree leaves suitable for the bottom layer of a no dig garden?

Making Orchard Compost 
Hello everyone, I am attempting to start a small orchard/garden in my backyard. My question concerns the making of orchard compost. I have a book by …

Layered Garden on Concrete 
Hi There, I'd like to make a Lasagna Garden on my balcony. If I follow the tutorial on your page, can I do this with the bottom of it being concrete instead …

Alternative to Lucerne Hay 
Hello, second question and hopefully one day I can contribute some answers... I do not have a ready supply of Lucerne hay. the only hay/straw/mulch …

No-dig garden on old building site 
Hello, Just came across this site- excellent! so, i knocked down an old building leaving a sandy square about 3m x 3m. unfortunately, there is some …

Is a no dig vegetable garden safe with septic tank on property? 
Hello, I love the no dig vegetable garden idea! We have a septic tank/drain field in the front yard and I want to plant my garden in the backyard. I have …

Invasive roots from surrounding big gum trees in Raised bed  
I live in a hill area of rocks and big gum trees. Our house practically sits on a rock. To find a good spot of deep soil is hard. Whenever I find a …

Goldfish pond water for garden 
I have an above ground goldfish pond that is made from landscape timbers. Each spring I clean the filter where there is more "sludge" from fish poop and …

Straw grown into oats 
Last year I began the no till method. I used oat straw to begin the process at the first of the season with the newspaper, etc. for weed control... …

Straw Bales disintegrating 
I have made straw bale compost bins; have three of them, and the bales are starting to disintegrate after one year. My question is should I stack more …

green manure in spring 
Hi I have recently taken on an allotment. I would like to cover sections with green manure could anyone say which is best for spring cover and any other …

How much biochar to use for growing plants? 
HOW MUCH BIOCHAR SHOULD I USE IN THE GARDEN? HOW MUCH TO USE IN CONTAINERS?

Filling Raised Beds 
Our chicken coop, garden, compost beds are all in the fenced (deer proof) orchard. They are alternated garden, compost, garden so the compost has up to …

Composting weeds 
Dear 'No Dig', I have just mowed and trimmed the lawn. The clippings are a mixture of grass and weeds. Some websites say that grass is good for compost …

Raised beds too hot! Over fertilized? 
hi there, around two weeks ago i layered up two raised beds following the no dig method (but i am worried i may have majorly over fertilized in my naive …

Click here to write your own.

using potting soil in the veg garden 
Hello fellow gardeners, I have been dumping my old potting soil in my small veg garden in the fall. Is this O.K? Can I put it the composter? DIANE …

Filling Lasagna Bed 
I have a big lasagna bed that is empty now and I have started filling it with dry donkey manure. How many inches should I put in this bed before I start …

Double Digging Using Seaweed 
Hi Organic No Dig people from New Zealand. Although I am a confirmed No Dig organic gardener I recall helping my father trenching/double digging the barley …

Lucerne Hay in Wellington, NZ 
I'm about to build some No-Dig beds in my garden. Thanks to all for the wealth of material on this site. I'm confused about the layer of Lucerne Hay. …

What's in this Horse Manure in my garden? 
I have located a good local source of horse manure for my garden. I haul about a cubic yard of manure mixed with straw and hay every week. I have noticed …

Wood Mulch 
Can wood mulch/chips be used on top of the newspaper. I thought I had read somewhere that wood mulch wasn't good for vegetable gardens

Donkey manure for a garden 
I have fenced in part of my yard and inside this fence is load after load of donkey pooh that has been covered over with leafs and old straw. How long …

Missed soil layer in no dig garden? 
Hello, Did I get the layers wrong? I started a no dig garden on bare soil last autumn with cardboard, manure, 10-20 cm straw. I didn't put on the final …

Shredded paper as mulch 
My garden soil is very much clay even after working it in with amendments through the years. I have a great deal of shredded paper from excess bills, advertisements, …

No Dig Garden Layers 
Hi there, I have started my no dig garden just based on conversations I have had with some friends. But I am now concerned that I may not have layered …

What to fill up deep 75cm garden beds for Community Garden 
We are building a community garden. Ground "covering" breaking is on Feb 5th. I am encouraging the group to use The No Dig method. I need you expertise …

Mulching and layering a new veggie patch 
Hi I have owned a lovely 4 acre piece of land for three years, am living on it with my husband and two year old in a caravan, while converting a barn …

concrete base for raised garden bed? 
I am restricted to a concrete base in my raised garden, my garden is 3m x 1.5m x 1m deep. I have put 300mm of pea straw in the base then layered sheep …

Drain Coil for straw compost bin 
What is a drain coil used for a straw compost bin? I have used straw bales to make compost bins.

Is municipal compost safe for starting a no-dig garden? 
Hi, I am planning to start a no dig garden in my allotment, which has been in use 10-20 years already and has been cleared for me to move in. I can …

rolling and crimping cover crops 
I have been thinking what the best way to grow a no till organic garden is. I think growing cover crops and then rolling and crimping them to kill them …

Making Compost bins from Wheelie bins? 
has anyone made a compost bin using a wheelie bin, if so did it work.

can I grow daffodils in steer manure compost? 
I have just raised my flower beds 18" with a layer of steer manure compost. can I plant my daffodil bulbs directly into the compost? Is this soil ok …

Compost ingredient combinations 
I have just completed an Organic Horticulture course at a polytech and am trying five different brews of compost using combinations of "freebie" materials …

Straw bale gardening - how long to soak straw 
I'm just starting with a straw bale garden. Do I soak the straw for five days, or one day, then let it sit for 5 days? How do i know if it's ready? It's …

Mixing ash and ambers in a garden 
Burned alot of brush and branches which left ash and ambers about 4 years ago. My son thought he would be helpful and mixed it all in part of our garden …

Guinea Pig Aspen Bedding as Mulch? 
Our family has a couple of Guinea Pigs. We clean their cage out aleast twice a week, dumping the used Aspen bedding and replacing it with clean bedding. …

Do you still use Newspaper in a no dig container garden? 
Will newspaper hinder the drainage of a No Dig Container garden? Or do I layer it like your diagram on the site?

building up a flower bed over bulbs and perennials 
I have an established flower bed where crocuses, balloon flower, daffodils and tulips grow back every year. The bed is in need of building up and typically …

how long to keep chicken manure before using on garden? 
I have four chickens and want to use the chicken poop+ straw for my vegetable garden. I understand you can't put manure straight onto the garden as it …

Click here to write your own.

Substitute for newspaper layer on no dig garden 
What can I substitute for the layer of newspaper? I don't subscribe to any newspapers, and have a large area. Will be costly to buy enough newspapers. …

Using inorganic straw on no dig farm 
I have a small organic farm that I would like to put into no-dig/till, but have not been able to find any naturally grown straw...I have heard stories …

Where do I find compost if I have none for new garden. 
I am looking at raised bed gardening but am wondering where I get compost to use at the start....I am moving to new location and no compost pile is available. …

Leaves for composting 
I would like to use leaves as compost in my no-dig garden. The nearest trees to my garden plot are oak, pine and hickory. Is there anything about …

Coffee Grounds for garden 
Are coffee grounds good for anything, if so what for? Are there any nutritional values for soil or other things. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ …

Does a heavy clay soil need tilling before planting a no dig garden? 
I am getting ready to start a 50' x 70' no till vegie garden on new ground. I keep reading that you really don't need to till or even plow the new ground …

How to calculate how much hay is needed for garden mulch? 
Is there a formula for calculating how much hay is needed to mulch a garden, ala' Ruth Stout method? i.e. X number of bales of hay to mulch 100 sq. ft. …

Building a No dig garden - Lucerne hay 
I am keen to start a no dig garden and could you please tell me why lucerne hay is used at the bottom. My husband wonders why when it probably has been …

Plastic garden covering - Covering the garden with plastic? 
I've heard that covering the garden with plastic is a good way to keep moisture in (important in AZ) and helps to prep the soil for when I plant in October... …

Soil - heavy soil that goes hard 
my soil is very hard, i dig it and a couple of weeks it is hard again. what can i use? regards col

Lucerne or hay sprouting. Unwanted? Beneficial? 
I have green 'grass' - which I think must be either the lucerne or the hay sprouting - coming up everywhere! When I pull a piece out, there is a seed …

Using Weeds for Compost and Mulch 
Hello! I live in Malaysia. First and foremost, thank you very much for this wonderful informative site. I have never grown anything even tho I have a …

Brand new Green Thumb in Calgary Canada 
Hello Fellow Gardeners! I am very very green to gardening and this Spring will be my first attempt at building a no dig veggie garden. I live in a condo …

What's the best manure to use on garden? 
What is the best manure to use, or does it really matter? I have access to cow, horse and goat manure. Also I am able to get "used" straw.

Animal manures in the garden
Steer Manure
 
Regarding all the different animal manures in a garden, I'd like more information. Can steer manure be used in a no dig garden for the fertilizer? I'm …

Lucerne Hay. Can I use something else instead of Lucerne hay for mulch? 
What is Lucerne hay? Where can I get it and can I use a substitute when I build my no-dig garden? Megan replies... Suppliers to horse stables, or …

Growing Mushrooms ! 
Been trying for a while to grow mushrooms, was getting stuff to grow but no luck! Then I happened to come across this site http://www.mushroomsource.ca …

Gathering mycorrhizae for garden 
Is forest floor mycorrhizae reliable for garden?

What happens if you miss out the final compost layer 
I started out my no-dig garden last autumn with a layer of cardboard, a layer of cow manure and then 10 cm of straw. This was only ligtly covered with …

Raised beds or existing soil? 
I have a patch of ground where a group of old bushes and weeds have been removed. This area has had for many years leaves falling here and being composted …

How to get rid of Oxalis 
I am starting a no dig garden as I can't find anyone to dig it for me, and my problem is I have a lot of oxalis. What is the best way to get rid of this? …

Click here to write your own.

Back to Gardening Q & A: More topics to ask questions and read about.

Back to HOME page: No Dig Vegetable Garden

The coolest little Newsletter around

Avoid the tragics — grab the tips.

Subscribe Free to our Diggers' Rest Newsletter below!

Email

Name

Then

Your e-mail address is
totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you information on No-dig Gardening.

Contact | Home