No dig, a great way to grow

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?

All round advice


This website is to inform, interest and encourage you to try no dig gardening. There is plenty of other advice too such as seasonal sowings and my 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 vegetable growing, with almost no weeds growing. 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 also share my passion and knowledge through international talks, courses and regular magazine articles, earning the Garden Media Guilds award ‘Practical Journalist of the Year, 2014’.

  • No dig, few weeds, lots to eat

    The second half of August was wet and humid here, perfect for weeds to germinate in the summer warmth. So what happened here? Almost none germinated on my undug beds, just a few around the plot edges where there is no compost mulch. By contrast, many new weeds have germinated on the dug bed of my experiment.

    I have a bed of leeks which I covered with mesh in June and the cover stayed on for two months without needing any weeding at all, the photo shows how it looked when I removed the mesh, temporarily, there are perhaps still some leek moths flying.

    Perennial weeds are different and keep growing unless you have managed to starve their roots of food, either by repeated removal of new growth, or by light deprivation with compost or polythene mulch, see next section. Homeacres beds were full of perennial weeds in early 2013, now there are none except for a little weak bindweed.

    Continue reading →

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charlesdowding @charlesdowding
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
Updates for veg growing, a key fortnight now for sowing winter salads & the joy of being weed free in an undug garden 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
@SPGardening This one affects only lettuce and mainly in late summer, I know no way of not having it. 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
Homeacres w/e course, growers cleared, harvested no dig Sarpo spuds under weed-clearing poly, planted, turned compost 
Charles Dowding  @charlesdowding
@rocketrobin_ I have only one Appleby, in a pot and making seed I trust! One part of the garden is unaffected so far.