In this video I’ll show you how we converted a weedy plot of land into productive, clean and weed free no dig garden beds.
The no dig method for market gardening is one of the most efficient systems that allows you to save time, energy and effort, whilst needing fewer tools, have fewer weeds and gain overall more profits.
I’ve made another video about it in the past which you can find here:
The steps to make your own no dig garden beds are pretty straight forward:
0:29 Step 1 - Prepare the area
3:46 Step 2 - Measure out plot & beds
5:43 Step 3 - Broadfork (Optional)
6:24 Step 4 - Lay down cardboard, attach strings, apply compost and rake out
12:25 Step 5 - Woodchips
15:01 Step 6 - Compact beds
15:26 Step 7 - Plant & Irrigate
• The bed sizes on our farm are 10 meter (33 feet) by 80 centimeter (31 inches).
• On our farm we use woodchips, preferably small chips, in the pathways. If you have lots of slugs and snails it’ll be better to use compost in the pathways as they’re not as attracted to it.
• Tools we used are: bed roller (to compact the compost - you can use your feet or a shovel for this), Jang seeder for direct seeding and some basic garden tools. No real rocket science needed here.
• The compost we use is a minimum of 6-month old and we can directly seed and grow in it. If your compost is fresh (not completely broken down yet) it will continue to rob the soil from nutrients in order to break down. Once it’s broken down these nutrients will become available for plant intake.
• The amount of compost we used to create these beds equals to about 1.2M3 per bed. We laid down a compressed layer of 15 cm (6 inches) on top of the cardboard. This amount is only applied once and won’t need to be topped up until the following season.
• Every season after creating the first beds we only apply a layer of about 2 to 5 cm (1 to 2 inch) of compost per season.
• Best time to apply the compost and create your beds is in autumn. Just like in nature when most plants shed their leaves and protect their soils, this is a great time to create your beds or top them up. Having said that, you can do it at any time of the year.
• You don’t have to mix the soil with compost. The purpose of the compost (and the cardboard below it) is to create a light depriving layer to kill off any existing vegetation below it. Mixing soil with compost would create the perfect environment for the weed seeds in the soil. Something we want to avoid;)
• Some weeds might poke through the layer of cardboard and compost. Once that happens, simply use a shovel or garden trowel to remove them entirely with root and all.
• The compost we use on our farm is made from a variety of sources and contains about 30% horse manure and 70% green wastes. The compost you use doesn’t really matter as long as it’s well composted! It can be 100% green waste or 100% horse manure, simply make sure it’s completely composted and doesn’t contain any weed seeds! The goal of the compost, besides killing off the vegetation below it, is to nourish, protect and feed the soil food web. Feeding the soil organisms is our aim as they’ll be able to convert and make available any of the nutrients present in the soil and provide them to the plants whenever they need them.
As you can see, starting your own garden or creating your own no dig beds for a market garden is pretty straight forward.
If you would like to get more information on how you can get started, feel free to check out our website over at: thedutchfarmer.com/
Thanks for watching, I hope it was helpful, and have a great day!
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