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 all possible, even in small spaces, so why not give it a go?

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

Save time and money

Charles watering in celeriac and spring onion, May 2016


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.

About me

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

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’.

New videos, module tray offer, Trial update 

I am uploading films about midsummer in the no dig garden. This first is clearing and replanting and the second is harvesting potatoes and onions.

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’

There are some current-year results from one of my growing trials,  see this. already 40+kg from each 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.

  • A question from my inbox: “I’ve not seen mentioned how Charles continues to keep his gardens thriving. Is it just adding more compost? Does he fertilize?”

    The answer is

    • no fertilisers
    • one application of compost, mostly in early winter. Compost is soil food, storing nutrients until plants ask for them, mediated by soil life such as mycorrhizal fungi, which thrive in undug soil.

    Continue reading →

More Posts….

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charlesdowding @charlesdowding
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
Compost bay nearing completion with its roof to keep the rain off 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
It's been a while and worth it, waiting for these esp Yellow Brandywine & Black Russian #nodig 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
@MarilenaMunaro looks a great little book and I hope your potager is blooming