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PracticalJournalistOfTheYearWelcome to the website of Charles Dowding, innovative gardener, author of seven books on caring for soil and growing vegetables. I also share knowledge through talks, courses and regular magazine articles which won me the award of 2014 Garden Media Guilds ‘Practical Journalist of the Year’.

The site shows productive ways to grow food, and with less weeding,  using a lovely way of caring for soil – undug and with a light covering of compost on top, based on my experience of growing vegetables without tillage for thirty years.  There is more information in my courses, books, talks and videos.

panorama sep 14

Homeacres is a small, intensive market garden, ideal for teaching, trialling and producing above all. From 900 square metres of beds, there is a steady supply of vegetables and especially salad leaves. With help from Steph in the time-consuming picking and packing, I deliver twice weekly March-October, and once a week in winter, to local shops and restaurants, mostly in Bruton.


Talks and visits have been exciting recently. My lecture in Ireland saw the hall full to bursting and masses of interest, with positive feedback from gardeners already using the no dig method. The next visit here on July 12th is open to anyone subscribing, see the link.

You can see a short video  about my online course in no dig gardening and it includes an early bird offer until July 12th. The online course  has over 30 videos as well as text and photos, to clarify all the benefits of a no dig, organic approach to growing vegetables, and its good for flowers too!

The wind has been a big issue all spring and my climbing beans have barely started to grow. Also its very dry here and no dig is showing the benefits of moisture conservation. I am watering salad beds and new plantings, also more than usual undercover with the sun so bright and the air so dry. On June 22nd we had 13mm rain which was a relief.

Homeacres on May 30th, experiment beds in front

Homeacres on May 30th, experiment beds in front

Steph has been busy creating her new site and it looks great, nice photos of seasonal veg, prepared salads, potions made from homegrown ingredients and more.

Homeacres garden is open 2-5pm on Sunday September 6th, see Events calendar.

Britain’s Best Allotment is a competition to showcase some of the finest allotments in Britain, and to highlight their values and benefits. Allotments are assessed by an expert panel of judges, for excellent prizes.

See my sowing timeline in Articles (under Learn banner), the whole year at a glance. Save your time and seeds!

Boltardy beetroot June 1st, sown early March in module

Boltardy beetroot June 1st, sown early March in module

Course dates here,  for autumn too, and a weekend/market gardening course on August 29th/30th.

See the Homeacres Trials page for photos of the dig, no dig experiment up to early summer, some interesting differences so far, many harvests now happening. Up to June 23rd, harvests from the dug bed are 29.9kg, and from the undug bed 33.1kg, including herbs, lettuce, spinach, beetroot, potato, carrot, cabbage and broad bean.

Here’s a video about Homeacres course days, and nice shots of the garden.

The tools I recommend are available here and include a wooden, long-handled dibber, 84 cell module trays and also my books.

Seeds, how likely are they to grow, where are they from? Some interesting results from a survey by a consumer organisation here.

New website for rock dust with many interesting reports of its results from gardeners all over the UK.

Mid June season for vegetables

Catching up after cold winds, aphids and pest protection, seed quality and sowing now Continue reading

June 2015 harvests and plantings

The joy of first harvests, spacings and intersowing,  insect covers, planting through mulches, compost heaps and our show garden.  Continue reading

Mid May update 2015

Coping with cold winds, planting tips, making compost, good/bad potting composts,  making new beds and salad pickings

Continue reading

May 2015

Timing sowing and planting for fickle weather, the joy of perennials, propagation and seed saving, biodynamics, courses and composting

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