Gardening Magazine

Make a No Dig Bed

By The Garden Smallholder @gdnsmallholder

Last weekend we made a no dig raised bed using left over wood, just a basic rectangle frame screwed together in each corner using decking screws. It measures 4ft wide by 7ft long.

We used cardboard to kill the lawn by excluding light, each piece overlapping the other to prevent grass growing through gaps. Tuck it underneath the frame so that it’s just showing on the outside, this prevents lawn coming through on the inside edges of the raised bed. The cardboard will rot down naturally over time.

Then came the exciting bit, filling it with compost! We used our own homemade compost which has been rotting down for almost 2 years. Dark, earthy and full of worms.

Treading the compost between each barrow load helps to firm it and you’ll get lots more compost in if you do. Compost doesn’t compact so it’s perfectly fine. Go on, have a little dance in your garden!

Ta da! Here it is finished and ready for planting! Practically no skills needed and best of all, low in cost!

Have a go at making one yourself, it doesn’t need to be as large as ours and you don’t necessarily need to use wooden sides. The key to no dig is keeping on top of weeding, pull weeds by hand when small or use a hoe to prevent them becoming established. Mulch with fresh compost every year if you can to keep the soil clean and revitalised, no need to dig it in just apply to the surface and worms will do the job for you.

If you’d like to learn more about no dig check out Charles Dowding on YouTube.

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