No dig

Imagine an abundant garden of delicious vegetables, created without lifting a spade. Imagine putting organic, flavoursome food on the kitchen table in a way that saves you time, respects the environment and sustains the soil – the lifeblood of the garden. This is  possible in small spaces and on weedy allotments, so why not give it a go?

My videos about midsummer in the no dig garden: clearing and replanting and harvesting potatoes and onions and see all of Homeacres July 2016 in this beautiful film

On You Tube you can see a time lapse of us harvesting lettuce leaves. Below is a fast potato harvest, no dig style, no fork or spade needed, potatoes grown without any soil disturbance and the tubers develop in surface compost. Homeacres July 2016, Charles with Felix helping:

Charles is a passionate and accomplished gardener who grows vegetables of amazing flavour” Raymond Blanc

Save time and money

Homeacres W. side Aug 24th before harvest of Kuri squash (top left) – since May this area has needed almost no weeding. With no dig and compost mulch, the surface stays clear of weeds, after any perennial weeds have been mulched, here there were buttercups and dandelions


My advice is based on long experience of growing and has many time-saving tips. A unique sowing timeline, and fortnightly updates on what’s best to do now are two examples. To find out more why not come on a course, or you can learn online with my in-depth video course.
Your no dig garden is truly inspirational” Darina Allen, Ballymaloe

About me

The country’s best writer on organic vegetable growing, thank you for your advice.” Rosie Boycott

cover NDFFT Charles 16

I have spent 35 years learning and developing a no dig method of commercial organic vegetable growing, with little weeding needed. Currently my  quarter acre of intensively cropped beds yield over a tonne of salad leaves every year, and vegetables for a wholefood shop, pub and a few weekly boxes.

Since 2006 I have written seven books and produced many videos on caring for soil and growing vegetables. I share this passion and knowledge through international talks, courses and regular magazine articles, earning the Garden Media Guilds award ‘Practical Journalist of the Year, 2014’.

Gardeners World, module tray offer, Trial update 

Gardeners World magazine (March 2016) feature my work as one of their 25 “key moments that have changed gardening forever”, in the 25 years since the magazine started.

No. 20 of Gardeners World 25 'key moments'

No. 20 of Gardeners World 25 ‘key moments’

BBC Gardeners World have filmed here this summer, for a programme to be screened sometime in 2017. Its about my organic and no dig approach, and we reminisce about the Gardeners World programme I made with Geoff Hamilton in 1988, when organic was still new and unaccepted.

 see this for current-year results from one of my growing trials: to 4th August, harvests of edible produce are 51.0kg dug bed and 50.4kg undug bed. Also on the page are 2015’s results from the  side-by-side comparison of dug and undug beds of the same size – yields in 2015 were 96.6kg from dug soil and 101.4kg from undug soil, each with the same amount of compost.

For module trays, Plant Pots Direct are offering a 15% discount with the code charlesdowding15

See my article about starting no dig in Indie Farmer, and this on saving time.

  • In recent years, October has been milder than average, sometimes with nicer weather than the preceding summer: last year it was 18C at Hallowe’en, the year before it was 21C! Its looking to be warm this year too and my aubergines think summer is going on.

    Do check the forecasts, because temperatures affect harvest dates – for example bring all squashes and pumpkins indoors before frost. Store them preferably in the house where their skins stay hard in the dry, warm air.

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charlesdowding @charlesdowding
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
October is coming, advice on harvests to make, mulching and bed sides, ripening tomatoes 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
@BadlyBehavedOne Hi Kim, that is great to hear, yes I am well thanks and keeping up with plentiful harvests, few weeds, writing and talks 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
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