Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Thoughts on digging

I'm taking a different approach to digging this year. I'm not yet convinced enough to go for a complete no-dig system but I did notice where my maincrop potatoes did so very well this year was where the ground hadn't been dug for several years (prior to that it had been growing strawberries). And farmers always used to leave part of their land fallow each year - I think putting my meadow mixes into the rotation and leaving them for two or three years should achieve something similar. So anyway this autumn I've only dug compost into this patch where the ground is heavy and cloddy, so that the frosts can break it up over winter. Everywhere else it's already nice and fertile - and has mostly been mulched with compost over the spring and summer - so I reckon I'll cover bare ground with leaves to stop nutrients being washed out by the winter rains, then just fluff it up a bit in spring prior to sowing.


frazzledsugarplummum said...

Looking good.

Joan said...

I used to double dig every spring but have been doing 'no dig' for several years, and really I don't see any reason to dig and fluff, except it somehow seems like I should. I don't have a tiller so it was all by hand. Maybe I got lazy. I make my own compost, but harvest it earlier than is ready so is more like mulch. Just last week I layed leaves and my compost over the top of my vege garden and am letting all the goodness soak in with winter rains. I also put an annual thick blanket of raked leaves on all the other garden beds and I do have nice tilth with lots of worms and very little weeds. I really like the results. Much easier on the old back too. Have you ever read any of Ruth Stout's work? She never dug anything, just kept piling on the mulch, year after year.

Simon said...

Interesting Joan. I'm not familiar with Ruth Stout; I've been looking at Charles Dowding.