What crops for new no-dig garden?

by Alex
(Sydney, NSW, Australia)

Just establishing my no-dig garden in Sydney, Australia (temperate climate). It's in a sunny position. What are good first crops to plant in early autumn? It seems that beetroot, beans, peas and root crops are not good first crops. I'm thinking of broccoli, brussels sprouts, spinach. Any suggestions or comments on my choices please.

Comments for What crops for new no-dig garden?

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 01, 2013
What to Plant in New No-Dig Garden NEW
by: Kiwi George

Hi Alex and welcome to the world of No-Dig gardening which from my experience it is a very rewarding horticultural system. Your decision hinges on a "Time/Space" question as if you have only a small area you will not want to "tie it up" with "long time to mature" vegetables so I suggest you plant the winter greens you listed as they will give you the best return for the space you have in the shortest time. If you have a number of No-Dig beds you can have some growing long maturing time crops and some fast maturing. I have seven No-Dig beds and use the anti disease crop rotation system which also allows me to grow a range of different maturing time crops. When I went No-Dig due to my heart status not leaving me enough energy to dig, I studied Organic Horticulture at Polytech (same as your TAFE)I am also 100% organic as I have heart and kidney problems and toxic sprays etc are off my agenda. There are also some very informative WWW sites, one of my favouites is Sustainable Gardening Australia. Good luck,
Kiwi Georg

Apr 02, 2013
Thanks NEW
by: Alex

Thanks George. I may establish another bed later, but will hasten slowly.

Apr 02, 2013
No-Dig NEW
by: kiwi george

Hi Alex. Further to my first comments, if you do start a second No-Dig bed and plant root crops, be aware that the length of the roots can be very long as the soil is so loose. Last year I grew parsnips 50cm long and the carrots were not far behind as I had added 1/4 by volume of coarse river sand to ensure the roots had a clear run. I have also established five "Lasagne" style compost heaps using horse/sheep manure, seaweed, lawn and hedge clippings and as the No-Dig beds are top dressed with this compost every year and after many years the level of my garden soil has risen to the extent I have fitted extra boards to retain it. The upside is that there is so much humus in the soil that our current "no external watering" rules due to the driest summer I can remember, do not bother me as the soil retains the moisuture so well. I have also found that the local "moggies" find my very friable soil a very good "dirt box" so be warned.
Regards
George

Apr 07, 2013
FIrst planting NEW
by: Alex

Well, I planted my first crops today - Brussels sprouts, celery, mignonette lettuce and spinach. We've had a couple of days rain and more forecast, but it doesn't look that way at present. We shall see.

Apr 08, 2013
No-Dig NEW
by: Kiwi George

Nice one Alex, hope it goes well. I have just planted some winter greens, Pak Choi and Savoy cabbage under cloches as although we are theoretically in a Temperate climate the onset of winter temperatures can be swift enough to take out new sedings. Time now to collect more horse manure from my Riding for the Disabled friends and seaweed from the local beach to be mulched and mixed with the shredded hedge clippings and lawn clippings. With a "blanket' of old carpet underlay to keep the heat in should provide me with my compost needs for next springs planting.
Happy No Dig
George

Apr 09, 2013
Plants for winter in nodig garden NEW
by: Suzy

Yes, this is a good question, and the answers have helped me thanks. I know that in my previous garden, (not nodigging) I had to get my winter vegs in by about late February or else they just sulked until spring and even then bolted to seed or came to not much. Some cabbages and broccoli were fine, but Brussels has to be in earliest of all. If you do plant them now, put in seedlings not seeds as it will take too long.

Peas are good and just read here that to put a handful of earth in a hole to plant seeds in a new nodig garden. It all rots down pretty fast and feeds and feeds the plants.
Spinach and chard grow anytime for me, especially autumn and into winter.
I'm in Adelaide, Australia.

Apr 09, 2013
diggers rest NEW
by: ajla

I just found out that Diggers rest is a place in Australia! I've finished my last sowing, only the potatoes have to go in still, now a gentle rain is falling, just what I need for my tired back! :)

Apr 27, 2013
Growing well NEW
by: Alex

Well, I planted brussels sprouts, celery, mignonette lettuce & spinach. Had a bit of light rain a couple of days after planting, then some nice sun, a couple of days of solid rain, and now some nice worm, sunny weather. All the seedlings have taken and seem to be pretty healthy, especially the celery and lettuce. The sprouts, which they just about gave me because they looked so sad, have grown new shoots and are positively healthy.

So far, so good.

May 17, 2013
Progress report NEW
by: Alex

We've had virtually no rain since my last post, so I've had to water every couple of days. Also, I've applied Seasol a couple of times.

Everything is looking good. The lettuce & spinach are ready to take leaves from. The brussels sprouts and celery both seem to be thriving.

May 20, 2013
Alex's No-Dig NEW
by: Kiwi George

Hi Alex. Good to hear that your first planting is producing output. We had a long dry spell here, the longest on record and we currently are having a very wet Autumn but my beds have so much humus after many years of top dressing with compost that they are very tolerant of weather extremes and I can plant what ever, when ever I like without any fear of struggling seedlings. Also my soil levels have built up so far that today I was able to take six sacks of soil to top dress the gardens at the nursing I volunteer at so No-Dig has many positive outcomes.
Regards
Kiwi George

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Organic garden problems.

Contact | Home