No dig Organic Gardening

Save time, grow more with Charles Dowding

Category: Seasonal Updates (page 1 of 27)

February update 2017, first sowings, propagation & composts, no dig winter veg

Hooray let’s go. Undercover to start with, because outside it’s still vegetable winter, see the amazing differences between spring, summer and winter. I make no outdoor sowings before mid March, except for broad (fava) beans.

Continue reading

February 2017 salads, slow sow, Kew Gardens, Q&A, Wikihow

Winter’s cold and more-or-less fine is turning in the UK to mild, wet and stormy, for the first half of February. Either way, I recommend you wait before sowing, except for broad beans. Check my diary and timeline for timings that save you time. Continue with any mulching and weed covering, then sow spinach, lettuce etc undercover from Valentine’s Day.

The cold has been great for softening surface mulches of compost, they look gorgeous now. Leave them on top, no need to fork in, see below.

Continue reading

January 2017 soil care, compost quality, no sowing yet!

A happy new year to my readers, may your gardens be bountiful, and easier to look after.

When does the gardening year begin? You could pick any date from October to March, depending where you live (snow on the ground, or not) and whether your soil is clear of weeds. In much of the UK, you can mulch soil with compost in January, if you have not already. Check this half-minute video for the essence of no dig preparation, when soil has been kept clear of weeds using a little and often approach.

In my diary I begin the sowing year on Valentines Day, because the rapidly lengthening days after mid-February make new growth more viable than when seeds are sown in January. For now, I recommend to sow nothing, and to finish soil preparation instead. Buy seeds and some potting compost, or sieve some of your own. The latter will probably have less nutrients, depending on what you added to the heap.

Continue reading

December update, easy soil preparation, salads, Brussels

It has been mild here, after a freezing first four days when we had two nights of -6.5C (20F). That was cold enough to freeze plants in the polytunnel and greenhouse, and to damage older salad plants outside, but newer plantings outdoors have survived well, see below.

The frost was good for softening lumps of surface compost, and for sweetening the flavour of parsnips and Brussels sprouts. Steph and I love them at this time of year, and homegrown ones taste quite different to most bought (non-organic) ones.

Continue reading

Dec. 2016 winter veg, harvests, no dig success and starting out


Are you ready for cold weather?  November was 4.5C (8F) cooler than last year, and December looks to be cool, perhaps with snow around the solstice. Otherwise mostly dry. 

November was above average rainfall here because of the wet spell from 19th-21st (see below, no dig drainage), but otherwise it was fine and the sunshine total of 90hrs contrasts with 33hrs last November. This morning 30th it was -7C (19F) here.

Continue reading

Older posts