Monday, December 16, 2013

no dig vegetable plot

Preparing the vegetable garden for winter.

This is a no dig method that we all knew about discussed at length before putting into practice.

The land had been used for onions last year and had produced a pretty good crop.  The soil is heavy clay and needs improving for the future.

This is what we did:

1 pick off the worst of the weeds

2 cover in cardboard, without too much tape or plastic

3 add a good layer of compost, this trailer load came from the local municipal facility for just over 8 euros.

cover the whole plot with plenty of straw to keep the warmth and humidity in, whilst the worms and soil beasties do their work over winter.

In the spring, the worms will have worked their way through the cardboard into the mulch and started to incorporate it into the soil below.  All that needs to be done is clear away little holes in the straw to plant seedlings and leave the soil beasties to continue elsewhere,  if there is still cardboard at the bottom of the hole, cut a small hole so that the seedling roots can continue down into the soil below.  Try not to walk on the plot and compact the soil, use a plank of wood to spread your weight.  For seed planting the straw will need to be cleared completely until the crop has germinated and gotten off to a good start.

Hopefully I’ll be back next year to see how productive the plot is after our efforts this autumn.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

….I def do the 'no dig' routine….tho not as exacting as that ! I weed and then cover with muck (or just weed fabric if next years crop doesn't like rich soil…)….and let the frosts do their bit!! But might try the cardboard layer as well ( lasagne gardening!!!)

xx Moi