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Why not try no dig gardening this Autumn?

No dig gardening is a method of garden bed preparation and maintenance that involves layering organic materials directly onto the soil to create a fertile and aerated growing area without the need for digging. The goal is to improve the soil structure and fertility by allowing earthworms, other soil life and weather to do the work. Apsley Farms’ mulch is idea to use with the simpler method of using mulch only and not adding a layer of cardboard.

Autumn is an excellent time to set up a no dig garden bed, particularly because it allows organic materials to break down over the winter providing a fertile ground come spring. Here’s how you can set up a no-dig bed using our mulch:

  1. Choose the location: Choose a location for your garden bed that gets the appropriate amount of sunlight for the plants you plan to grow.
  2. Define the area: Use wooden planks, stones, or any other boundary material to mark out your garden bed.
  3. Weed management: If there are existing weeds, mow them down or trim them close to the ground. You don’t need to remove the roots.
  4. Apply mulch: Cover the entire area with a thick layer of our organically certified mulch. Aim for at least a 4-6 inch layer. The thick mulch layer will suppress weeds, conserve moisture, regulate soil temperature and eventually decompose to add organic matter to the soil.
  5. Planting: To plant in your no-dig bed, simply move aside the mulch where you wish to plant, dig a small hole, and plant your seedling or seeds. Then, push the mulch back around the plant, making sure not to pile it directly against the stem of seedlings.
  6. Maintenance: As the mulch decomposes, you may need to add more to keep a consistent layer. Regularly check for any weeds and pull them out if they appear. Over time, the weed pressure should decrease as the mulch suppresses their growth and the underlying soil improves.
  7. Watering: Mulch helps retain soil moisture, but you’ll still need to water. Always water deeply to encourage deep root growth.
  8. End of season: At the end of the growing season, you can add another layer of compost and more mulch to prepare for the next year. This will continue to build soil fertility over time.

Remember, the no-dig method is about working with nature and letting natural processes improve your soil. Over time, you should notice improved soil structure, fewer weeds, and more vibrant plant growth in the Spring.

To order our soil improving mulch from £60 per 730L bag or £50 for 2 or more bags please click here

Apsley Farms’ peat free and organically certified mulch is ideal for no dig gardening

What are the benefits of no dig gardening?

The no dig method is an gardening method or technique that aims to cultivate crops without disturbing or turning over the soil through conventional digging. It is an alternative approach to traditional methods that involve loosening and overturning the soil to prepare it for planting. Organic matter eg mulch is layered on the soil surface to create a nutrient-rich environment for plant growth. This technique aims to minimize soil disturbance while preserving soil structure, fertility, and biodiversity. The six main benefits of using this method are:

1. Improved soil health. With the no dig method the natural soil structure and composition is preserved and the risk of soil compaction is minimised. This allows for better drainage and aeration, promoting healthy root growth and overall soil health.

2. Reduced weed growth. When the soil is disturbed, weed seeds are brough to the surface, leading to more weeds. By not digging the soil it means that fewer weed seeds germinate and that’s means less weeding required

3. Increased biodiversity. The no dig method allows for a wide range of organisms to thrive in the soil, promoting the development of a healthy soil ecosystem. This includes earthworms, insects and beneficial microbes. Adding a generous layer of mulch releases nutrients into the soil. Apsley Farms’ soil improving mulch is packed with vital NPK nutrients and beneficial macroorganisms and microorganisms.

4. Preserve soil moisture. By not distrurbing and loosing the soil it lessens the risk of the soil drying out. Adding a layer of mulch not only adds organic matter but also locks in moisture, ideal for dry spells.

5. Reduced maintenance. Requires less physical effort than traditional digging methods. This means less time weeding and more time focusing on the more enjoyable aspects of gardening, like planting and harvesting.

6. Sustainability. The no dig method reduces soil erosion and minimises the use of pesticides and chemicals. It is ideal for organic gardeners who want to grow fruit and vegetables. Our mulch is approved for organic use by the Soil Association.

Read about the benefits of spreading mulch here !

Apsley Farms in Andover, Hampshire

About Apsley Farms

Sustainability and efficiency is at the heart of everything we do at Apsley Farms. We’ve adopted cutting edge technologies and turned low value crops into renewable energy. We focus on a circular economy by returning the nutrients in our digestate products back to the land as a fertiliser.
Our process of generating green gas and other important by-products ticks three important boxes: it displaces natural gas (fossil fuel) in the gas grid to heat people’s homes; it displaces CO2 made by the fertiliser industry, which is essential in the food industry; and it simultaneously generates natural fertiliser in the process!