No dig

Imagine producing an abundant garden of delicious vegetables 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 very lifeblood of the garden. This is all possible, even in small spaces, so why not give it a go?

Save time and money

home page 15


My advice is based on long experience of growing for market. enabling me to share tips such as seasonal sowings and fortnightly updates on what’s best to do now. To find out more why not come on a course, or you can learn online with my in-depth video course.

About me

I have spent 35 years learning and developing a no dig method of commercial, highly productive 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 weekly boxes.

I’ve 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’.

Trial update and other updates

See the 2015 results from my side-by-side comparison of dug and undug beds of the same size – yields were 96.6kg from dug soil and 101.4kg from undug soil, each with the same amount of compost.

I am receiving great feedback from allotmenteers who have adopted no dig, such as this from Andrew, in Comments to the Midwinter update below: 
“Having originally double dug my patches when I created them, which was back breaking, the quality of the tilth and worm activity since I switched to no dig  is amazing.  Thanks for all the advice.”

My next blog  will appear on 15th February and thereafter they are on 1st and 15th of each month.

Link to my article about starting no dig in Indie Farmer

  • Winter’s brief appearance and disappearance,  rabbits arrive, raising beds (or not), aerating compost with a metal corkscrew, root veg for winter abundance,  more on potting composts and peat alternatives,  whether to sow now or wait a little longer, midwinter growth of salads undercover and outdoors, pruning chilli plants to keep them growing next year.

    Homeacres experimental beds in January, dug bed on left and undug on right, same compost in each

    Homeacres experimental beds in January, dug bed on left and undug on right, same compost in each

    Continue reading →

More Posts….

Subscribe for updates

Sign up to to participate in my forums, filled with like-minded gardeners and useful advice, and to receive our newsletter with my latest seasonal updates, news and offers. See my partner Stephanie Hafferty for more on vegetable growing and her great recipe/potion ideas.


charlesdowding @charlesdowding
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
@AnneWareham I don't say compost deters slugs, but I find compared to undecomposed mulches it offers no Xtra habitat to slugs than bare soil 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
@AnneWareham no because it has a covering of compost, the best cover for not encouraging slugs. Compost is a mulch, looks like soil, 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
@AnneWareham yes I remove all surface debris to compost (roots stay in), keeps slug numbers down 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
First sowing on the windowsill, all lettuce 14 varieties