Redoing my no dig garden

by cookie
(encino, ca)

I made the no dig garden last spring and it was very successful. Any suggestions on what i need to do to redo this spring's no dig garden. I ask because my current 5ft by 10ft patch is loaded with earthworms, which i do not want to lose. Can i re-use this soil mixture?

Comments for Redoing my no dig garden

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Apr 27, 2010
by: bill t.

Of course you can use the original bed just keep adding organic matter and keep turning the bed between plantings. try to change the type of plants you grow in the same spot so as to prevent any possible build up of plant disease. Also try to rotate above and below ground potatoes onions carrots etcetera below. broccoli celery lettuce etcetera above.
Happy and fruitful gardening Bill T. :)

Apr 27, 2010
no dig garden
by: cookie

thanks for your feedback. very much appreciated.

Dec 04, 2010
top up
by: Glenn

my raised garden has decompsed to about 2/3 of its original height, can i top it up simply by adding another couple of layers as in the original setup, or what is best to bring back to height?

Jan 30, 2011
Topping up raised garden beds
by: Lou

Eventually all gardens, raised or not, will decompose the organic matter and what would be left would be some minerals and rock (which could be in the form of sand or clay or something in-between).

So unless nature adds new material, then it's up to the gardener to add compost, mulch, soil, manure and anything organic to build up the soil goodness so plants can grow.

With raised beds, each time you replant, add new layers (compost etc) so you keep the level up. Adding new layers can be done over winter if you like. You can pile it up and it will start decomposing and settling, with the worms coming up from below to help break up matter and take mix it around at all levels, so you have a good environment for spring planting.

Jan 31, 2011
We do not "Redo" no dig gardens.
by: bill t

The whole idea of no dig gardening is exactly what it says "No dig". We do not "Redo" A no dig gardenYour compost is the alternative to soil,so you must persist with making a constant supply of "compost".Your "mulch" is there to help keep (in my case)the sun from drying out the compost underneath, thus protecting the plant roots.
If you live in a colder climate the mulch protects the compost and thus the plants root system from cooler, perhaps frost prone climes.
Ifyou do pruning of shrubs in other areas of your garden leave them to one side to dry off then add this as mulch,pull weeds upend them to dry out and add to your mulch, thus you are creating an eco system of constant returning this medium to whense it came from and creating fresh food and protection to your plants. Do not forget a feeding regimen, ie manure ferteliser, as compost and mulch (wiich I forgot to mention)are not a complete ferteliser will eventually beak down and keep the eco cycle going and us humans reap the benefits of very little effort from compost and mulch.
Cheers "no dig gardeners" Bill T. :)

Jan 31, 2011
thanks bill t
by: cookie

i live in encino california and great garden is very small but big enough to enjoy and experiment. it's my 3rd year of no dig...the worms love it very much so i do believe i'm doing something right. i do layer the bone meal, etc....prior to starting the spring plantings....thanks for all the feedback...this year i need to win the battle for the tomatoes...seems a pesky tomato worm got to many before i did.....wasteful little creatures....happy 2011

Feb 01, 2011
by: bill t

Thanks cookie,seems like your garden is doing well. Soon asI hear someone mention "EARTH WORMS"I think worms are a great baromiter for good compost, mulch, whatever medium is used the "P H" is just right otherwise the worms vacate the premises.Thanks cookie good to read your coments. Do you get a butterfly,white with a black spot on each wing in your kneck of the woods. If so it could be laying eggs on your tomato leaves which turn into caterpillars and start chewing.Try derris dust on your tomatoe plants at first site of this butterfly or any other bug which gets there before you.A natural pesticide with low witholding period.
Luck Bill T :)

Feb 02, 2011
white butterflies and derris dust
by: cookie

thanks bill for the 'derris dust' recommendation. i've seen white butterflies but not sure about the black on them.....i'm pretty sure you've identified the culprit and here i was saying to myself how lucky i was that they liked my yard....where's my gun :-) just kidding. i'm new to the outdoors having just gotten this petite chateau (802 sq ft)in july 2008..hate bugs but determined to not let this 'bug' me. gloves help. the 'derris dust' recommendation solves the problem i was facing. a relief. and no weeds is super great which is why the 'no dig' concept is great.
thanks for taking the time to help me out..much appreciated.

Apr 02, 2011
No Dig- Year 2 plus
by: George

Hi Cookie. I have 8 No Dig beds and 5 compost heaps which I fill with differing "brew's" of materials to test the efficacy of the different "concoctions" of horse/sheep,fowl/cow manures, seaweed, lawn clippings, hedge clippings and the leaves from my rampant agapanthus. So far the "Best brew" is fall leaves/horse manure(as fresh as possible to make best use of the gut enzymes from the horse)/kelp seaweed and Comfrey. Pine straw helps keep the brew open but they take at least 3 compost cycles to break down. I now use them as "anti slip" on my pathways and after 2 or 3 years they are broken down enough to add to the compost and as the have absorbed some of the liquid foliar feed I am liberal with, they are virtually ready from the get go.

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