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?

Save time and money

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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

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 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’.

News and Trial update 

Its exciting times for no dig as more gardeners retire their fork or spade. 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’

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.

Links to my article about starting no dig in Indie Farmer and to a piece on saving time.

JOB OFFER in a no dig garden in Oxfordshire UK, contact

  • Frost and hail in late April were a timely reminder to wait before sowing and planting warmth-loving plants. In this area (SW England) its good to sow runner and French beans mid month, undercover, for planting in late May or early June. Even then the wind can be cold and after planting and often I cover young bean plants with fleece (celeriac too unless its hot), which is why I prefer not to put up bean sticks until plants are growing strongly.

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charlesdowding @charlesdowding
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
Salad packed, in the shops and restaurants v soon #nodig 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
Her story of investing to save money with no dig veg growing, after problems with polycultures by @Steph_Hafferty 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
@RafsKG yes amazing, and we had a frost this morning too! Change happening as I write.